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A PIONEER OUTLINE HISTORY OF 
NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

IMPROVED AND CORRECTED 




William James McKnight 



1780 ^ 1850 

PIONEER OUTLINE HISTORY 

OF 

Qorti)tDt0ttrn Qfnn05lt)aTita 



EMBRACING 



THE COUNTIES OF TIOGA, POTTER, McKEAN, WARREN, 
CRAWFORD, VENANGO, FOREST, CLARION, ELK, JEFFERSON, 
CAMERON, BUTLER, LAWRENCE, AND MERCER 



A PIONEER SKETCH OF THE CITIES OF ALLEGHENY, BEAVER, DU BOIS, 

AND TOWANDA 



JHp JFirst EetDlUctionfi of •^Sroofebtlle, JJenneipHiania, 1840=1843, 
tuben mp feet mere bare anJ mp tbeefeg toerc broton 

BY 

w. J. Mcknight, m.d. 

BROOKVILLE, PA. 

AUTHOR OF "my FIRST RECOLLECTIONS OF BROOKVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA." "RECOLLECTIONS OF 
RIDGWAY, PENNSYLVANIA," ALSO OF THE "PIONEER HISTORY OF 
JEFFERSON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 




In 



PRINTED BY J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY 
1905 



r 



Copyright, i9°5 
By W. J. McKnight, M.D. 



..'^'"^ 



' /, 



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3" 



'/S 



THESE PAGES 

ARE 

AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED 

TO 

MRS. MARY (McKNIGHT) TEMPLETON 

Nk THOMPSON 



PREFACE 



To write a pioneer history years and years after all the fathers and 
mothers have gone to that " country from whose bourn no traveller returns" 
is a task to appall the most courageous. To say it mildly, it is a task requiring 
a vast amount of labor and research, untiring perseverance, great patience, 
and discrimination. In undertaking this task I realized its magnitude, and 
all through the work I have determined that, if labor, patience, and perse- 
verance would overcome error and false traditions and establish the truth, the 
object of this book would be fully attained. This book is not written for gain, 
nor to laud or puff either the dead or the living. It is designed to be a plain, 
truthful narrative of pioneer men and events in the northwest. 

I have compiled, wherever I could, from the writings of others. This 
book it is hoped will enable you to 

" Lift the twilight curtains of the past 
And, turning from familiar sight and sound, 
Sadly and full of reverence, cast 
A glance upon tradition's shadowy ground." 



To accomplish this I have taken no account of travel, time, or expense, 
expecting all that to be a financial loss, but only working and desiring to make 
a true, reliable history. 

I am indebted to the following historical works, — viz., " Jefferson County 
Atlas," " Jefferson County History," Day's " Historical Recollections," Egle's 
"History of Pennsylvania," McKnight's pioneer history, and histories of 
Butler, Crawford, Clarion, Cameron, Elk, Forest, Lawrence, Mercer, McKean, 
Venango, Tioga, Potter, and Warren. 

I am also indebted to J. Sutton Wall for map tracings, and to the State 
Report of Public Instruction of 1877. 

5 



PREFACE 

A few errors in the " Pioneer History of Jefferson County" have since 
been discovered, and are corrected in this work. 

In every instance, as far as possible, credit has been given to the writings 
of those who have preceded me. But, dear reader. 



" Whoever thinks a faultless work to see, 
Thinks what ne'er was, nor is, nor e'er shall be. 
In every work regard the writer's end, 
Since none can compass more than they intend, 
And if the means be just, the conduct true, 
Applause, in spite of trivial faults, is due.'' 



Brookville, Pennsylvania, 1905. 



W. J. McKnight. 




CONTENTS 



CHAPTER I 

I'AGK 

Introductory — Times, Privileges, Soctal Habits of the Pioneers, Christianity 
OF THOSE Days, etc 17 

CHAPTER II 

Our Aborigines — The Iroquois, or Six Nations — Indian Towns, Villages, 
Graveyards, Customs, Dress, Huts, Medicines, Doctors, Bark-peelers, 
Burials, etc 22 

CHAPTER III 

Cornplanter — Our Chief — Chief of the Senecas, One of the Six Nations — 
Brief History — Some Speeches — Life and Death 48 

CHAPTER IV 
The Purchase of 1784 at Fort Stanwix (now Rome), New York 55 

CHAPTER V 

Titles and Surveys— Pioneer Surveys and Surveyors— District Lines— Laws, 
References, and Reports— Streams and Highways— Donation Lands 76 

CHAPTER VI 

Pioneer Animals— Beavers, Buffaloes, Elks, Panthers, Wolves, Wild-cats, 
Bears and other Animals— Habits, etc.— Pens and Traps— Birds— Wild 
Bees ' '°7 

CHAPTER VII 

Bill Long, the " King Hunter"— The Hunter of Hunters in this Wilderness 
—Some of the Adventures and Life op " Bill Long" from his Childhood 
until he was Seventy Years Old 156 

CHAPTER VIII 

The Old State Road— Early Roads and Trails— Why the State Road was 
made— The First Attempt to open the Road— Laws, etc., touching the 
Subject— The Survey— The Road completed— The Act of the Legislature 
which sanctioned the Building of the Road 181 

7 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER IX 

PAGE 

Provision for opening a Road — Report of the Commissioners to the Governor 
— Streams, etc 194 

CHAPTER X 

Pioneer Settlement of Western Pennsylvania — Pioneer Pennsylvania Indian 
Traders — The Pioneer Road by Way of the South Branch of the Poto- 
mac and the Valley of the Kiskiminitas — The Pioneer Road from East 
to West, from Raystown (now Bedford) to Fort Duquesne (now Pitts- 
burg), A military Necessity— General John Forbes opens it in the Sum- 
mer AND Fall of 1758 — Colonel George Washington opposed to the New 
Road and in Favor of the Potomac Road — Death of General John Forbes 
— Pioneer Mail-Coaches, Mail-Routes, and Post-Offices 199 

CHAPTER XI 

Susquehanna and Waterford Turnpike — The Old Toll-Gates along the 
Route — A Full History of the Old Turnpike 211 



CHAPTER XII 

Pioneer Agriculture — How the Farmers in the Olden Time had to make 
Shift — The Pioneer Homes — Pioneer Food — Pioneer Evening Frolics — 
Trees, Snakes, and Reptiles — Soldiers of 1812 — Pioneer Legal Relations 
OF Man and Wife — Early and Pioneer Music — The First Screw Factory 
— Population of the State and of the United States 217 

CHAPTER XIII 

Pioneer Missionary Work, Pioneer Churches, Organization, etc. — Rev. John 
Jamieson and others — Synods and Preachers 256 

CHAPTER XIV 

Pioneer Circuit Courts— Pioneer Circuit Judges— President and Associates- 
Pioneer Bar and Early Lawyers 284 

CHAPTER XV 

The Pioneer Doctor in Northwestern Pennsylvania— Brookville's Pioneer 
Resurrection; or. Who Skinned the Nigger?— The True Story of the 
Origin of the State Anatomical Law 288 

CHAPTER XVI 

White Slavery— Origin— Nature in Rome, Greece, and Europe— African 
Slavery in Pennsylvania— George Bryan— Pioneer Colored Settler in 
Jefferson County— Census, etc.— Days of Bondage in Jefferson County 

AND THE Northwest 

310 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTERXVII 
Pioneer Money . "'''' 
342 

CHAPTER XVIII 

" Scotch-Irish"— Origin of the Term under James I.— Lords and Lairds- 
Early Settlers in Pennsylvania ,.5 

CHAPTER XIX 

The Common School System— Its Inception— Introduction into America- 
State Effort— History of Education in the State— Progress of Educa- 
tion. ETC 3^g 

CHAPTER XX 
Statistics of 1840 -gj 

CHAPTER XXI 
My First Recollections of Brookville 376 

CHAPTER XXII 
Pioneer Preachers and Churches in Northwestern Pennsylvania 421 

CHAPTER XXIII 
Odd Fellowship in Northwestern Pennsylvania 434 

CHAPTER XXIV 
Pioneer Newspapers in Northwestern Pennsylvania 438 

CHAPTER XXV 

Butler County — County Erected — Location of County Seat — Pioneer Roads, 
Settlers, Churches, Schools, Courts, Officers, Towns, and Boroughs — 
Indian Trails — Townships — Marketing — Mails 444 

CHAPTER XXVI 

Crawford County — Formation of County — Location of County Seat — Trails — 
Roads — Settlers — Lakes — The Meads — Turnpike — Holland Company — 
Churches — Canals — Boating — Animals — Oil — Elks — Pigeons — Salt Well — 
Weekly Mail — Murder — Lawyers — Villages — Soldiers of 1812 — Boroughs — 

Stage Route 456 

9 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER XXVII 

PAGE 

Clarion County — Formation of County — Location of County Seat — Roads — ■ 
Courts — Turnpikes — Education- — Churches — Settlers — Pioneer Conditions 
— ^JuDGE Clover — Trails — Captain Sam Brady — Lumbering — Furnaces — River 
— Storekeeper 474 

CHAPTER XXVIII 

Cameron County — Formation of County — Location of County Seat — Courts — 
Officers — Trails and Roads — Settlers — Transportation — Whiskey — Ani- 
i[ALs — ^JoHN Brooks — Schools and Churches — Newspapers — The Clafflin 
Girls — Desperadoes — Stores — Townships — Indian Atrocities 486 

CHAPTER XXIX 

Elk County — Formation of County — Location of County Seat — Pioneer Roads, 
Settlers, Courts, Officers, Lawyers, Churches, and Schools — Judge Gillis 
— Rev. Jonathan Nichols — Mills — Tannery — Boats and Rafting — Animals 
and Hunters — Staging — Pioneer Coal Mining 494 

CHAPTER XXX 

Forest County (Old) — Formation of County — County Seat — Pioneers — Pio- 
neer Roads and Paths — Pioneer Elections, Mails, and Offices — Boat- 
Building 518 

CHAPTER XXXI 

Jefferson County — Formation and Organization — Pioneer Settlers — Trees — 
Joseph Barnett— Indian Names of Streams— Wagons — Roads— Stores — 
Murders— Court-House and Jail — Physicians— Militia — Bridges — Assess- 
ment AND Settlers — Old Folks' Picnic 531 

CHAPTER XXXII 

Lawrence CoaNTY— When erected— County Seat located— Pioneer Court, Set- 
tler, Officers, Mails, Roads, Schools, Boroughs, Churches, and Preacher 
— Revolutionary Soldier Settlers --« 



CHAPTER XXXIII 

McKean County— Formation of County— Location of County Seat— Officers— 
Roads— Pioneer Settlers— Indian Names of Streams— Hunters— Slaves- 
Hardships — Lands, etc c6q 

CHAPTER XXXIV 

Mercer County— Formation of County— Location of County Seat— Settlers 
—Courts— Officers— Mails— County Roads— Doctors— Industries— Schools 

—Churches— Townships— Soldiers of 1812— Masonry— Boroughs 579 

10 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER XXXV 

i'AGE 

Potter County— Erection— Location of County Seat— Courts and Officers- 
Settlers — Roads — Hardships — Animals and Hunters — Allegheny River, 
ETC S92 

CHAPTER XXXVI 

Tioga County — Formation of County — Location of County Seat — Settlers — 
Roads — Courts — Redemptxoners — Churches — Schools — Streams — In- 
dian Trails — Hunters — Indian Captives — Animals, Habits, Customs, etc... 607 

CHAPTER XXXVII 

Venango County — Formation of County — Location of County Seat — Trails, 
Paths, Roads, and Turnpikes — Settlers — Stores — Schools and Churches 
— Canals — Steamboats — Mails — Merchants — Railroads — Seneca Oil — War 
of 1812 621 

CHAPTER XXXVIII 

Warren County — Formation of County — Settlers — Location of County Seat — 
Courts — Paths and Roads — River Travel — Lumbering— Indians — Slavery — 
Cornplanter Reservation — Churches and Schools — Stage Travel, etc 637 

CHAPTER XXXIX 
Allegheny City — Beaver City — Du Bois City — Towanda City 659 

APPENDIX 

Some Local History — A Lincoln Story — The Memorable Campaign of 1864 — 
The Teachers' Institute — Early Postal Routes and Rides — ^Pennsylvania 
System of Railroads — Pioneer Railroads in Northwestern Pennsylvania 
— Allegheny Railroads — Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburg Railroad — The 
Abduction of William Morgan — Arrest and Trial of James L. Gillis, and 
what became of Morgan, etc 669 




LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



PAGE 

William James McKnight Frontispiece 

Northwestern Pennsylvania in 1780 18 

Captain George Smoke and John Smoke (Seneca Indians) 26 

Indians moving 28 

Indian stockade (bark houses) 43 

Gy-ant-wa-ka (the Cornplanter) 49 

Beaver 108 

Buffalo (American bison) m 

Elk 114 

Gray or timber wolf of Pennsylvania 118 

Pennsylvania bear ; 121 

Deer and Fawn in Mahoning Creek 126 

Porcupine (European) 129 

Wild-cat 131 

River otter 132 

Red fox ^^33 

Opossum (colored plate) i34 

Squirrel ^3S 

Raven ^37 

Bald eagle 138 

Wild turkey ■ ^39 

Blue-jay (colored plate) 140 

Crow •^43 

Woodpecker ^44 

Red-shouldered hawk 146 

American goshawk : ^47 

Sharp-shinned hawk 148 

Wild pigeon ^49 

Grouse or pheasant ■ ^49 

Blue-jay ^5° 

Humming birds "^5° 

Straw bee-scap ^S^ 

Bill Long, king hunter iS7 

Long fires at a panther 160 

13 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

PAGE 

Common brown bear ._, ^"3 

Bear and cubs '°4 

Female panther ^74 

Male panther ^75 

Driving logs • • ^9^ 

Conestoga wagon I9S 

Early barn 212 

Port Barnett. . , 214 

1824-50 215 

Clearing land 219 

Large spinning-wheel 222 

Flax brake 223 

Spinning-wheel, reel, and bed-warmer , 224 

Ox-yoke and tin lantern 225 

Banded rattlesnake '. " 234 

Copperhead 235 

Rattlesnake Pete catching rattlers 237 

Dr. Ferd. Hoffman, of Brookville 238 

Peter Gruber taking poison from a rattler 240 

Blacksnake 241 

Pioneer cabin 251 

James McCurdy 253 

Cabin barn 255 

Branding slaves 313 

Charles Brown shackled in Brookville jail, 1834 318 

Governor Joseph Ritner 3 53 

Governor George Wolf 355 

Pioneer school-house ^56 

Hon. Thaddeus Stevens 357 

Pioneer saw-mill 372 

Pioneer court-house and jail, 1831 376 

Bennett's stage and Morrow's team ^gi 

My mother jg. 

Brookville kitchen, 1840 ,gQ 

Rafting on North Fork ,„. 

Western entrance to Brookville, 1840 -ig 

John Jamieson Ypsilanti Thompson .,„ 

Butler, 1843 444 

Pioneer farm ,f, 

404 

MeADVILLE, 1843 fifi 

Clarion, 1843 

Hon. Peter Clover 

479 

Turning a boat „ 

484 

14 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



PAGE 



Pioneer court-house 409 

Taking out a timber stick 504 

Nelson Gardner (a mighty hunter) and wipe Mary 505 

Skidding logs 508 

Banking logs 511 

Joseph Smith Hyde 516 

Cyrus Blood 521 

Court-house 523 

John Conrad 525 

Rafting timber, Clarion River 527 

Building boat on Clarion River 529 

Robert Hamilton 546 

Pioneer academy 550 

Old folks' picnic , 555 

Lawrence County court-house, 1852 563 

Paul Darling 575 

Mercer, 1843 583 

Potter County pioneer court-house and jail 597 

Edwin Haskell 603 

MaHLON J. COLCORD 604 

Head-waters of Allegheny River 605 

John Du Bois 608 

Rafting to Pittsburg on the Allegheny River 628 

Old Warren 643 

Pioneer court-house 652 

Warren pioneer judges 6S5 

Methodist church, 1835 657 

Alexander Johnston Cassatt 661 

Beaver in 1843 66S 

Towanda in 1843 ^^7 

William Augustus Patton 690 

Pioneer railroad train in the United States 693 

Arthur G. Yates ' 7^3 




LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 
LIST OF MAPS 

PAGE 

Pennsylvania in 1800 20 

Various purchases from the Indians 59 

Northwestern Pennsylvania (purchase of 1784) 67 

Donation lands in Pennsylvania (colored plate) 84 

Butler County 445 

Crawford County 457 

Erie County 47i 

Clarion County 475 

Clinton County 486 

Elk County 495 

Forest County 519 

Lycoming County 531 

Jefferson County S33 

Brookville, in Jefferson County 542 

Lawrence County 559 

McKean County S7i 

Mercer County S^i 

Potter County 593 

Tioga County 611 

Venango County 623 

Warren County 636 

Bradford County 667 

Allegheny County 724 

Armstrong County 724 

Beaver County 724 

Clearfield County 724 

Indiana County 724 

PAGE 

State Flag of Pennsylvania j 



Note 

IN the present issue of this 

volume revisions have been made 

and several errors corrected. 

November, 1908. 



A PIONEER OUTLINE HISTORY OF 
NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

CHAPTER I 



INTRODUCTORY TIMES, PRIVILEGES, SOCIAL HABITS OF THE PIONEERS, CHRIS- 
TIANITY OF THOSE DAYS, ETC. 

" The deeds of our fathers in times that are gone, 
Their virtues, their prowess, the toils they endured." 

At this time all the pioneers have passed away, and the facts here given 
are collected from records and recollections. Every true citizen now and in 
the future of the northwest must ever possess a feeling of deep veneration 
for the brave men and courageous women who penetrated this wilderness and 
inaugurated civilization where savages and wild beasts reigned supreme. 
These heroic men and women migrated to this forest and endured all the 
hardships incidental to that day and life, and through these labors and tribu- 
lations they have transmitted to us all the comforts and conveniences of a 
high civilization. The graves have closed over all these pioneer men and 
women, and I have been deprived of the great assistance they could have 
been to me in writing this history. 

In 1780 railroads were unknown. To-day there are in the United States 
one hundred and seventy thousand miles of railroad. Over these roads there 
were carried, in 1897, five hundred million people and six hundred million tons 
of freight. Employed upon them are one million men, thirty thousand loco- 
motives, twenty-one thousand passenger cars, seven thousand baggage cars, 
and one million freight cars. The total capital invested is eight billion dollars. 
The disbursements for labor and repairs are yearly six hundred and fifty 
million dollars. And now, in 1905, as a Pennsylvanian, I am proud to say 
our own Pennsylvania road is the greatest, the best, and most perfect in 
management and construction of any road in the world. We have smoking- 
cars, with bath-room, barber-shop, writing-desks, and library ; we have dining- 
cars in which are served refreshments that a Delmonico cannot surpass ; we 
have parlor cars with bay-windows and luxurious furniture; and we have 
cars with beds for sleeping soft as the " eider down." 
2 17 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

In the year 1780 men were imprisoned for debt and kept in prison until 
the last farthing was paid. The jails of that day were but little better than 
dungeons. There was no woman's Christian temperance union, no woman's 
relief corps, no society for the prevention of cruelty to animals or children. 

In 1780 domestic comforts were few. No stove had been invented. 
Large, deep fireplaces, with cranes, andirons, and bake-ovens, were the only 




Northwestern Pennsylvania in 17S0 

" A savage place — as lonely and enchanted 
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted." 

modes of heating and cooking. Friction-matches were unknown. If the fire 
of the house went out, you had to rekindle with a flint or borrow of your 
neighbor. I have borrowed fire. House furniture was then meagre and 
rough. There were no window-blinds or carpets. Rich people whitewashed 
their ceilings and rooms, and covered their parlor-floors with white sand. 
Hence the old couplet : 



Oh, dear mother, iny toes are sore 
A dancing over your sanded floor.' " 
' 18 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

Pine-knots, tallow-dipped candles burned in iron or brass candlesticks, 
and whale oil burned in iron lamps were the means for light in stores, dwell- 
ings, etc. Food was scarce, coarse, and of the most common kind, with no 
canned goods or evaporated fruits. In addition to cooking in the open fire- 
place, women had to spin, knit, dye, and weave all domestic cloths, there being 
no mills run by machinery to make woollen or cotton goods. Mrs. Winslow's 
soothing syrup and baby-carriages were unknown. The bride of 1790 took 
her wedding-trip on foot or on horseback behind the bridegroom on a 
" pillion." 

Men wore no beards, whiskers, or moustaches, their faces being as clean 
shaven and as smooth as a girl's. A beard was looked upon as an abomina- 
tion, and fitted only for Hessians, heathen, or Turks. In 1780 not a single 
cigar had ever been smoked in the United States. I wish I could say that 
of to-day. There were no aniline dyes, no electric lights, no anaesthetics 
and painless surgery, no gun-cotton, no nitroglycerine, no dynamite, giant 
powder, audiphones, pneumatic tubes, or type-writers, no cotton-gin, no 
planting-machine, no mower or reaper, no hay-rake, no hay-fork, no corn- 
sheller, no rotary printing-press, no sewing-machine, no knitting-machine, 
no envelopes for letters, no india-rubber goods, coats, shoes, or cloaks, no 
grain-elevator except man, no artificial ice, no steel pens, no telegraph or 
telephone, no street-cars, no steam-mills, no daguerreotypes or photographs, 
no steam-ploughs, no steam-thresher (only the old hand-flail), no wind-mill, 
and no millionaire in the whole country. General Washington was the 
richest man, and he was only worth eight hundred thousand dollars. 

Previous to 1800, or the settlement of Northwestern Pennsylvania, there 
were about nine inventions in the world, — to wit, the screw, lever, wheel, 
windlass, compass, gunpowder, movable type, microscopes, and telescopefe. 
About everything else has been invented since. To-day France averages 
about nine thousand and the United States twelve thousand a year. 

In 1800 the United States contained a population of 5,305,925. 

In 1800 Philadelphia and New York were but overgrown villages, and 
Chicago was unknown. Books were few and costly, ignorance the rule, and 
authors famed the world over now were then unborn ; now we spend annually 
one hundred and forty million dollars for schools. Then there was no tele- 
graph, telephone, or submarine cable ; now the earth is girdled with telegraph 
wires, and we can speak face to face through thte telephone a thousand miles 
apart, and millions of messages are sent every year under the waters of the 
globe. To-day in the United States an average of one to twelve telegraphic 
messages are sent every minute, day and night, the year through. 

In 1800 emigrants to America came in sailing-vessels. Each emigrant 
had to provide his own food, as the vessel supplied only air and water. The 
trip required a period of from thirty days to three months. Now this trip 
can be made by the use of Jefferson County coal in less than six days. Now 

19 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

ocean travel is a delight. Then canals for the passage of great ships and 
transatlantic steamers were unknown. 

In 1800 electricity was in its infancy, and travel was by sail, foot, horse- 
back, and by coach. Now we have steamers, street-cars, railroads, bicycles, 
and horseless carriages. Gas was unheard of for stoves, streets, or lights. 
Pitch-pine, fat, and tallow candles gave the only light then. 

In 1800 human slavery was universal, and irreligion was the order of the 
day. Nine out of every ten workingmen neither possessed nor ever opened 
a Bible. Hymn-books were unknown, and musical science had no system. 
Medicine was an illiterate theory, surgery a crude art, and dentistry unknown. 
No snap shots were thought of. Photography was not heard of. Now this 
science has revealed " stars invisible" and microscopic life beyond computation. 

In 1800 there were but few daily papers in the world, no illustrated ones, 
no humorous ones, and no correspondents. Modern tunnels were unknown, 
and there was no steam-heating. Flint and tinder did duty for matches. 
Plate-glass was a luxury undreamed of. Envelopes had not been invented, 
and postage-stamps had not been introduced. Vulcanized rubber and celluloid 
had not begun to appear in a hundred dainty forms. Stationary washtubs, 
and even washboards, were unknown. Carpets, furniture, and household 
accessories were expensive. Sewing-machines had not yet supplanted the 
needle. Aniline colors and coal-tar products were things of the future. Stem- 
winding watches had not appeared ; there were no cheap watches of any kind. 
So it was with hundreds of the necessities of our present life. 

In the social customs of our day, many minds entertain doubts whether 
we have made improvements upon those of our ancestors. In those days 
friends and neighbors could meet together and enjoy themselves, and enter 
into the spirit of social amusement with a hearty good-will, a geniality of 
manners, a corresponding depth of soul, both among the old and young, to 
which modern society is unaccustomed. Our ancestors did not make a special 
invitation the only pass to their dwellings, and they entertained those who 
visited them with a hospitality that is not generally practised at the present 
time. Guests did not assemble then to criticise the decorations, furniture, 
dress, manners, and surroundings of those by whom they were invited. They 
were sensible people, with clear heads and warm hearts; they visited each 
other to promote mutual enjoyment, and believed in genuine earnestness in all 
things. We may ignore obligations to the pioneer race, and congratulate our- 
selves that our lot has been cast in a more advanced era of mental and moral 
culture; we may pride ourselves upon the developments which have been 
made in science and art; but, while viewing our standard of elevation as 
immeasurably in advance of that of our forefathers, it would be well to emu- 
late their great characteristics for hospitality, honor, and integrity. 

The type of Christianity of that period will not suffer by comparison 
with that of the present day. If the people of olden times had less for costly 



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HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

apparel and ostentatious display, they had also more for offices of charity and 
benevolence ; if they did not have the splendor and luxuries of wealth, they 
at least had no infirmaries or paupers, very few lawyers, and but little use for 
jails. The vain and thoughtless may jeer at their unpretending manners and 
customs, but in all the elements of true manhood and true womanhood it may 
be safely averred that they were more than the peers of the generation that 
now occupy their places. That race has left its impress upon our times, — 
whatever patriotism the present generation boasts of has descended from them. 
Rude and illiterate, comparatively, they may have been, but they possessed 
strong minds in strong bodies, made so by their compulsory self-denials, their 
privations and toil. It was the mission of many of them to aid and participate 
in the formation of this great commonwealth, and wisely and well was the 
mission performed. Had their descendants been more faithful to their noble 
teachings, harmony would now reign supreme where violence and discord 
now hold their sway in the land. 

The pioneer times are the greenest spot in the memories of those who 
lived in them ; the privations and hardships they then endured are consecrated 
things in the recollection of the survivors. 

Our fathers established the first Christian, non-sectarian government in 
the world, and declared as the chief corner-stone of that government Christ's 
teaching, that all men are " born free and equal ;" love your neighbor as your- 
self. Since this thought has been carried into effect by our non-sectarian 
government, it has done more to elevate and civilize mankind in the last one 
hundred years than had ever been accomplished in all time before. Under the 
humane and inspiring influence of this grand idea put into practice, the wheels 
of progress, science, religion, and civilization have made gigantic strides, and 
our nation especially, from ocean to ocean, from arctic ice to tropic sun, is 
filled with smiling, happy homes, rich fields, blooming gardens, and bright 
firesides, made such by Christian charity carried into national and State con- 
stitutional enactment. 




CHAPTER II 



OUR ABORIGINES THE IROQUOIS, OR SIX NATIONS INDIAN TOWNS, VILLAGES, 

GRAVEYARDS, CUSTOMS, DRESS, HUTS, MEDICINES, DOCTORS, BARK-PEELERS, 
BURIALS, ETC. 

Aquanuschioni, or " united people," is what they called themselves. 
The French called them the Iroquois; the English, the Six Nations. They 
formed a confederate nation, and as such were the most celebrated and power- 
ful of all the Indian nations in North America. The confederacy consisted 
of the Mohawks, the fire-striking people; the Oneidas, the pipe-makers; 
the Onondagas, the hill-top people; the Cayugas, the people from the lake; 
the Tuscaroras, unwilling to be with other people; and the Senecas, the 
mountaineers. 

The aborigines were called Indians because Columbus thought he had 
discovered India, and they were called Red Men because they daubed their 
faces and bodies with red paint. 

The Iroquois, or Six Nations, were divided into what might be called 
eight families,— viz., the Wolf, Bear, Beaver, Turtle, Deer, Snipe, Heron, 
and Hawk. Each of the Six Nations had one of each of these families in 
their tribe, and all the members of that family, no matter how wide apart 
or of what other tribe, were considered as brothers and sisters, and were 
forbidden to marry in their own family. Then a Wolf was a brother to all 
other Wolves in each of the nations. This family bond was taught from 
infancy and enforced by public opinion. 

" If at any time there appeared a tendency toward conflict between the 
different tribes, it was instantly checked by the thought that, if persisted in, 
the hand of the Turtle must be lifted against his brother Turtle, the toma- 
hawk of the Beaver might be buried in the brain of his kinsman Beaver. And 
so potent was the feeling that, for at least two hundred years, and until the 
power of the league was broken by the overwhelming outside force of the 
whites, there was no serious dissension between the tribes of the Iroquois. 

" In peace, all power was confined to ' sachems ;' in war, to ' chiefs.' The 
sachems of each tribe acted as its rulers in the few matters which required 
the exercise of civil authority. The same rulers also met in council to direct 
the affairs of the confederacy. There were fifty in all, of whom the Mohawks 



NoTE.-For much in this chapter I am indebted to Rupp's History. 



22 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

had nine, the Oneidas nine, the Onondagas fourteen, the Cayugas ten, and 
the Senecas eight. These numbers, however, did not give proportionate 
power in the councils of the league, for all the nations were equal there. 
There was in each tribe, too, the same number of war-chiefs as sachems, and 
these had absolute authority in time of war. When a council assembled, each 
sachem had a war-chief near him to execute his orders. But in the war-party 
the war-chief commanded and the sachem took his place in the ranks. This 
was the system in its simplicity. 

" The right of heirship, as among many other of the North America 
tribes of Indians, was in the female line. A man's heirs were his brother, — 
that is to say, his mother's son and his sister's son, — ^never his own son, nor 
his brother's son. The few articles which constituted an Indian's personal 
property — even his bow and tomahawk — never descended to the son of him 
who had wielded them. Titles, so far as they were hereditary at all, followed 
the same law of descent. The child also followed the clan and tribe of the 
mother. The object was evidently to secure greater certainty that the heir 
would be of the blood of his deceased kinsman. The result of the application 
of this rule to the Iroquois system of clans was that if a particular sachemship 
or chieftaincy was once established in a certain clan of a certain tribe, in that 
clan and tribe it was expected to remain forever. Exactly how it was filled 
when it became vacant is a matter of some doubt; but, as near as can be 
learned, the new official was elected by the warriors of the clan, and was then 
inaugurated by the council of the sachems. 

" If, for instance, a sachemship belonging to the Wolf clan of the Seneca 
tribe became vacant, it could only be filled by some one of the Wolf clan of 
the Seneca tribe. A clan council was called, and, as a general rule, the heir 
of the deceased was chosen to his place, — to wit, one of his brothers, reckoning 
only on the mother's side, or one of his sister's sons, or even some more dis- 
tant male relative in the female line. But there was no positive law, and the 
warriors might discard all these and elect some one entirely unconnected with 
the deceased, though, as before stated, he must be one of the same clan and 
tribe. While there was no unchangeable custom compelling the clan council 
to select one of the heirs of the deceased as his successor, yet the tendency 
was so strong in that direction that an infant was frequently chosen, a guar- 
dian being appointed to perform the functions of the office till the youth should 
reach the proper age to do so. All offices were held for life, unless the incum- 
bent was solemnly deposed by a council, an event which very seldom occurred. 
Notwithstanding the modified system of hereditary power in vogue, the con- 
stitution of every tribe was essentially republican. Warriors, old men, and 
women attended the various councils and made their influence felt. Neither 
in the government of the confederacy nor of the tribes was there any such 
thing as tyranny over the people, though there was a great deal of tyranny by 
the league over conquered nations. In fact, there was very little government 

2.3 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

of any kind, and very little need of any. There was substantially no property 
interests to guard, all land being in common, and each man's personal prop- 
erty being limited to a bow, a tomahawk, and a few deer-skins. Liquor had 
not yet lent its disturbing influence, and few quarrels were 'to be traced to 
the influence of women, for the American Indian is singularly free from the 
warmer passions. 

" His principal vice is an easily aroused and unlimited hatred ; but the 
tribes were so small and enemies so convenient that there was no difficulty in 
gratifying this feeling (and attaining to the rank of a warrior) outside of his 
own nation. The consequence was that although the war-parties of the Iro- 
quois were continually shedding the blood of their foes, there was very little 
quarrelling at home. 

" Their religious creed was limited to a somewhat vague belief in the 
existence of a Great Spirit and several inferior but very potent evil spirits. 
They had a few simple ceremonies, consisting largely of dances, one called 
the ' green-corn dance,' performed at the time indicated by its name, and 
others at other seasons of the year. From a very early date their most impor- 
tant religious ceremony has been the ' burning of the white dog,' when an 
unfortunate canine of the requisite color is sacrificed by one of the chiefs. To 
this day the pagans among them still perform this rite. 

" In common with their fellow-savages on this continent, the Iroquois 
have been termed ' fast friends and bitter enemies.' Events have proved, how- 
ever, that they were a great deal stronger enemies than friends. Revenge was 
the ruling passion of their nature, and cruelty was their abiding characteristic. 
Revenge and cruelty are the worst attributes of human nature, and it is idle 
to talk of the goodness of men who roasted their captives at the stake. All 
Indians were faithful to their own tribes, and the Iroquois were faithful to 
their confederacy; but outside of these limits their friendship could not be 
counted on, and treachery was always to be apprehended in dealing with them. 

" In their family relations they were not harsh to their children and not 
wantonly so to their wives ; but the men were invariably indolent, and all labor 
was contemptuously abandoned to their weaker sex. 

" Polygamy, too, was practised, though in what might be called mod- 
eration. Chiefs and eminent warriors usually had two or three wives, rarely 
more. They could be discarded at will by their husbands, but the latter seldom 
availed themselves of their privilege. 

" Our nation— the Senecas— was the most numerous and comprised the 
greatest warriors of the Iroquois confederacy. Their great chiefs. Corn- 
planter and Guyasutha, are prominently connected with the traditions of the 
head-waters of the Allegheny, Western New York, and Northwestern Penn- 
sylvania. In person the Senecas were slender, middle-sized, handsome, and 
straight. The squaws were short, not handsome, and clumsy. The skin was 
reddish brown, hair straight and jet-black. 

24 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

■' After the death of a Seneca, the corpse was dressed in a new blanket 
or petticoat, with the face and clothes painted red. The body was then laid 
on a skin in the middle of the hut. The war and hunting implements of the 
deceased were then piled up around the body. In the evening after sunset, 
and in the morning before daylight, the squaws and relations assembled 
around the corpse to mourn. This was daily repeated until interment. The 
graves were dug by old squaws, as the young squaws abhorred this kind of 
labor. Before they had hatchets and other tools, they used to line the inside 
of the grave with the bark of trees, and when the corpse was let down they 
placed some pieces of wood across, which were again covered with bark, and 
then the earth thrown in, to fill up the grave. But afterwards they usually 
placed three boards, not nailed together, over the grave, in such a manner 
that the corpse lay between them. A fourth board was placed as a cover, and 
then the grave was filled up with earth. Now and then a proper coffin was 
procured. 

" At an early period they used to put a tobacco-pouch, knife, tinder-box, 
tobacco and pipe, bow and arrows, gun, powder and shot, skins and cloth 
for clothes, paint, a small bag. of Indian corn or dried bilberries, sometimes 
the kettle, hatchet, and other furniture of the deceased, into the grave, sup- 
posing that the departed spirits would have the same wants and occupation 
in the land of souls. But this custom was nearly wholly abolished among the 
Delawares and Iroquois about the middle of the last century. At the burial 
not a man shed a tear ; they deemed it a shame for a man to weep. But, on 
the other hand, the women set up a dreadful howl." They carried their dead 
■ a long way sometimes for burial. 

THE ORIGINAL BARK-PEELERS 

An Indian hut was built in this manner. Trees were peeled abounding in 
sap, usually the linn. When the trees were cut down the bark was peeled 
with the tomahawk and its handle. They peeled from the top of the tree to 
the butt. The bark for hut-building was cut into pieces of six or eight feet ; 
these pieces were then dried and flattened by laying heavy stones upon them. 
The frame of a bark hut was made by driving poles into the ground, and the 
poles were strengthened by cross-beams. This frame was then covered inside 
and outside with this prepared linn-wood bark, fastened with leather-wood 
bark or hickory withes. The roof ran upon a ridge, and was covered in the 
same manner as the frame; and an opening was left in it for the smoke to 
escape, and one on the side of the frame for a door. 

HOW THE INDIAN BUILT LOG HUTS IN HIS TOWN OR VILLAGE 

They cut logs fifteen feet long and laid these logs upon each other, at 
each end they drove posts in the ground and tied these posts together at the 
top with hickory withes or moose bark. In this way they erected a wall of logs 

25 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

fifteen feet long to the height of four feet. In this same way they raised a 
wall opposite to this one about twelve feet away. In the centre of each end 
of this log frame they drove forks into the grovmd, a strong pole was then 
laid upon these forks, extending from end to end, and from these log walls 
they set up poles for rafters to the centre pole; on these rafters they tied 
poles for sheeting, and the hut was then covered or shingled with linn- 
wood bark. This bark was peeled from the tree, commencing at the top. 




Captain George Smoke and his cousin John Smoke, who stood for this picture as a special favor for the 
author. Thej- are Seneca Indians dressed and equipped as the Senecas of Northwestern Pennsylvania four 
hundred years ago 

with a tomahawk. The bark-strips in this way were sometimes thirty feet 
long and usually six inches wide. These strips were cut as desired for 
roofing. 

At each end of the hut they set up split lumber, leaving an open space at 
each end for a door-way, at which a bear-skin hung. A stick leaning against 
the outside of this skin meant that the door was locked. At the top of the 
hut, in place of a chimney, they left an open place. The fires were made in 
the inside of the hut, and the smoke escaped through this open space. For 
bedding they had linn-wood bark covered with bear-skins. Open places 
between logs the squaws stopped with moss gathered from old logs. 

There was no door, no windows, and no chimnev. Several families occu- 
pied a hut, hence they built them long. Other Indian nations erected smaller 

26 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

huts, and the families lived separate. The men wore a blanket and went bare- 
headed. The women wore a petticoat, fastened about the hips, extending a 
little below the knees. 

Our nation, the Senecas, produced the greatest orators, and more of 
them than any other. Cornplanter, Red Jacket, and Farmer's Brother were 
all Senecas. Red Jacket once, in enumerating the woes of the Senecas, 
exclaimed, — 

" We stand on a small island in the bosom of the great waters. We are 
encircled, we are encompassed. The evil spirit rides on the blast, and the 
waters are disturbed. They rise, they press upon us, and the waters once 
settled over us, we disappear forever. Who then lives to mourn us? None. 
What marks our extinction? Nothing. We are mingled with the common 
elements." 

The following is an extract from an address delivered by Cornplanter to 
General Washington in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1790: 

" Father, — When you kindled your thirteen fires separately the wise 
men assembled at them told us that you were all brothers, the children of one 
Great Father, who regarded the red people as his children. They called us 
brothers, and invited us to his protection. They told us he resided beyond 
the great waters where the sun first rises, and he was a king whose power 
no people could resist, and that his goodness was as bright as the sun. What 
they said went to our hearts. We accepted the invitations and promised to 
obey him. What the Seneca nation promises they faithfully perform. When 
you refused obedience to that king he commanded us to assist his beloved men 
in making you sober. In obeying him we did no more than yourselves had 
bid us promise. We were deceived; but your people, teaching us to confide 
in that king, had helped to deceive us, and we now appeal to your breast. Is 
all the blame ours? 

" You told us you could crush us to nothing, and you demanded from us 
a great country as the price of that peace which you had offered us, as if our 
want of strength had destroyed our rights." 

" Drunkenness, after the whites were dealing with them, was a common 
vice. It was not confined, as it is at this day among the whites, principally to 
the ' strong-minded,' the male sex ; but the Indian female, as well as the male, 
was infatuated alike with the love of strong drink ; for neither of them knew 
bounds to their desire : they drank while they had whiskey or could swallow 
it down. Drunkenness was a vice, though attended with many serious conse- 
quences, nay, murder and death, that was not punishable among them. It 
was a fashionable vice. Fornication, adultery, stealing, lying, and cheating, 
principally the offspring of drunkenness, were considered as heinous and 
scandalous offences, and were punished in various ways. 

27 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" The Delawares and Iroquois married early in life; the men usually at 
eighteen and the women at fourteen ; but they never married near relations. 
If an Indian man wished to marry he sent a present, consisting of blankets, 
cloth, linen, and occasionally a few belts of wampum, to the nearest relations 
of the person he had fixed upon. If he that made the present, and the present 
pleased, the matter was formally proposed to the girl, and if the answer was 
affirmatively given, the bride was conducted to the bridegroom's dwelling 
without any further ceremony; but if the other party chose to decline the 
proposal, they returned the present by way of a friendly negative. 

" After the marriage, the present made by the suitor was divided among 
the friends of the young wife. These returned the civility by a present of 
Indian corn, beans, kettles, baskets, hatchets, etc., brought in solemn pro- 
cession into the hut of the new married couple. The latter commonly lodged 
in a friend's house till they could erect a dwelling of their own. 

" As soon as a child was born, it was laid upon a board or straight piece 
of bark covered with moss and wrapped up in a skin or piece of cloth, and 




Indians moving 

when the mother was engaged in her housework this rude cradle or bed was 
hung to a peg or branch of a tree. Their children they educated to fit them 
to get through the world as did their fathers. They instructed them in re- 
ligion, etc. They believed that Manitou, their God, ' the good spirit,' could 
be propitiated by sacrifices ; hence they observed a great many superstitious 
and idolatrous ceremonies. At their general and solemn sacrifices the oldest 
men performed the offices of priests, but in private parties each man brought 
a sacrifice, and offered it himself as priest. Instead of a temple they fitted 
up a large dwelling-house for the purpose. 

" When they travelled or went on a journey they manifested much care- 
lessness about the weather ; yei, in their prayers, they usually begged ' for a 

28 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

clear and pleasant sky.' They generally provided themselves with Indian 
meal, which they either ate dry, mixed with sugar and water, or boiled into 
a kind of mush; for they never took bread made of Indian corn for a long 
journey, because in summer it would spoil in three or four days and be unfit 
for use. As to meat, that they took as they went. 

" If in their travels they had occasion to pass a deep river, on arriving at 
it they set about it immediately and built a canoe by taking a long piece of 
bark of proportionate breadth, to which they gave the proper form by fastening 
it to ribs of light wood, bent so as to suit the occasion. If a large canoe was 
required, several pieces of bark were carefully sewed together. If the voyage 
was expected to be long, many Indians carried everything they wanted for 
their night's lodging with them, — namely, some slender poles and rush-mats, 
or birch-bark." 

When at home they had their amusements. Their favorite one was 
dancing. " The common dance was held either in a large house or in an open 
field around a fire. In dancing they formed a circle, and always had a leader, 
to whom the whole company attended. The men went before, and the women 
closed the circle. The latter danced with great decency and as if they were 
engaged in the most serious business; while thus engaged they never spoke 
a word to the men, much less joked with them, which would have injured 
their character. 

"Another kind of dance was only attended by men. Each rose in his 
turn, and danced with great agility and boldness, extolling their own or their 
forefathers' great deeds in a song, to which all beat time, by a monotonous, 
rough note, which was given out with great vehemence at the commencement 
of each bar. 

" The war-dance, which was always held either before or after a cam- 
paign, was dreadful to behold. None took part in it but the warriors them- 
selves. They appeared armed, as if going to battle. One carried his gun or 
hatchet, another a long knife, the third a tomahawk, the fourth a large club, 
or they all appeared armed with tomahawks. These they brandished in the 
air, to show how they intended to treat their enemies. They affected such an 
air of anger and fury on this occasion that it made a spectator shudder to 
behold them. A chief led the dance, and sang the warlike deeds of himself 
or his ancestors. At the end of every celebrated feat of valor he wielded his 
tomahawk with all his might against a post fixed in the ground. He was then 
followed by the rest ; each finished his round by a blow against the post. Then 
they danced all together ; and this was the most frightful scene. They affected 
the most horrible and dreadful gestures; threatened to beat, cut, and stab 
each other. They were, however, amazingly dexterous in avoiding the threat- 
ened danger. To complete the horror of the scene, they howled as dreadfully 
as if in actual fight, so that they appeared as raving madmen. During the 
dance they sometimes sounded a kind of fife, made of reed, which had a shrill 

29 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

and disagreeable note. The Iroquois used the war-dance even in times of 
peace, with a view to celebrate the deeds of their heroic chiefs in a solemn 
manner. 

" The Indians, as well as ' all human flesh,' were heirs of disease. The 
most common were pleurisy, weakness and pains in the stomach and breast, 
consumption, diarrhoea, rheumatism, bloody flux, inflammatory fevers, and 
occasionally the small-pox made dreadful ravages among them. Their gen- 
eral remedy for all disorders, small or great, was a sweat. For this purpose 
they had in every town an oven, situated at some distance from the dwellings, 
built of stakes and boards, covered with sods, or dug in the side of a 
hill, and heated with some red-hot stones. Into this the patient crept naked, 
and in a short time was thrown into profuse perspiration. As soon as the 
patient felt himself too hot he crept out, and immediately plunged himself 
into a river or some cold water, where he continued about thirty seconds, and 
then went again into the oven. After having performed this operation three 
times successively, he smoked his pipe with composure, and in many cases a 
cure was completely effected. 

" In some places they had ovens constructed large enough to receive sev- 
eral persons. Some chose to pour water now and then upon the heated stones, 
to increase the steam and promote more profuse perspiration. Many Indians 
in perfect health made it a practice of going into the oven once or twice a 
week to renew their strength and spirits. Some pretended by this operation 
to prepare themselves for a business which requires mature deliberation and 
artifice. If the sweating did not remove the disorder, other means were 
applied. Many of the Indians believed that medicines had no efficacy unless 
administered by a professed physician; enough of professed doctors could 
be found ; many of both sexes professed to be doctors. 

" Indian doctors never applied medicines without accompanying them 
with mysterious ceremonies, to make their effect appear supernatural. The 
ceremonies were various. Many breathed upon the sick ; they averred their 
breath was wholesome. In addition to this, they spurted a certain liquor made 
of herbs out of their mouth over the patient's whole body, distorting their 
features and roaring dreadfully. In some instances physicians crept into the 
oven, where they sweat, howled, roared, and now and then grinned horribly 
at their patients, who had been laid before the opening, and frequently felt the 
pulse' of the patient. Then pronounced sentence, and foretold either recovery 
or death. On one occasion a Moravian missionary was present, who says, 
'An Indian physician had put on a large bear-skin, so that his arms were 
covered with the forelegs, his feet with the hind legs, and his head was en- 
tirely concealed in the bear's head, with the addition of glass eyes. He came 
in this attire with a calabash in his hand, accompanied by a great crowd of 
people, into the patient's hut, singing and dancing, when he grasped a handful 
of hot ashes, and scattering them into the air, with a horrid noise, approached 

30 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

the patient, and began to play several legerdemain tricks with small bits of 
wood, by which he pretended to be able to restore him to health.' 

" The common people believed that by rattling the calabash the physician 
had power to make the spirits discover the cause of the disease, and even 
evade the malice of the evil spirit who occasioned it. 

" Their materia medica, or the remedies used in curing diseases, were 
such as rattlesnake-root, the skins of rattlesnakes dried and pulverized, thorny 
ash, toothache-tree, tulip-tree, dogwood, wild laurel, sassafras, Canada shrubby 
elder, poison-ash, wintergreen, liverwort, Virginia poke, jalap, sarsaparilla, 
Canadian sanicle, scabians or devil's-bit, bloodwort, cuckoo pint, ginseng, and 
a few others. 

" Wars among the Indians were always carried on with the greatest 
fury, and lasted much longer than they do now among them. The offensive 
weapons were, before the whites came among them, bows, arrows, and clubs. 
The latter were made of the hardest kind of wood, from two to three feet long 
and very heavy, with a large round knob at one end. Their weapon of 
defence was a shield, made of the tough hide of a buffalo, on the convex side 
of which they received the arrows and darts of the enemy. But about the 
middle of the last century this was all laid aside by the Delawares and Iro- 
quois, though they used to a later period bows, arrows, and clubs of war. 
The clubs they used were pointed with nails and pieces of iron, when -used at 
all. Guns were measurably substituted for all these. The hatchet and long- 
knife was used, as well as the guns. The army of these nations consisted of 
all their young men, including boys of fifteen years old. They had their cap- 
tains and subordinate officers. Their captains would be called among them 
commanders or generals. The requisite qualifications for this station were 
prudence, 'cunning, resolution, bravery, undauntedness, and previous good 
fortune in some fight or battle. 

" ' To lift the hatchet,' or to begin a war, was always, as they declared, 
not till just and important causes prompted them to it. Then they assigned 
as motives that it was necessary to revenge the injuries done to the nation. 
Perhaps the honor of being distinguished as great warriors may have been 
an ' ingredient in the cup.' 

" But before they entered upon so hazardous an undertaking they care- 
fully weighed all the proposals made, compared the probable advantages or 
disadvantages that might accrue. A chief could not begin a war without the 
consent of his captains, nor could he accept of a war-belt only on the condition 
of its being considered by the captains. 

" The chief was bound to preserve peace to the utmost of his power. But 
if several captains were unanimous in declaring war, the chief was then 
obliged to deliver the care of his people, for a time, into the hands of the 
captains, and to lay down his office. Yet his influence tended greatly either to 
prevent or encourage the commencement of war, for the Indians believed 

31 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

that a war could not be successful without the consent of the chief, and the 
captains, on that account, strove to be in harmony with him. After war was 
agreed on, and they wished to secure the assistance of a nation in league with 
them, they notified that nation by sending a piece of tobacco, or by an embassy. 
By the first, they intended that the captains were to smoke pipes and consider 
seriously whether they would take part in the war or not. The embassy was 
intrusted to a captain, who carried a belt of wampum, upon which the object 
of the embassy was described by certain figures, and a hatchet with a red 
handle. After the chief had been informed of his commission, it was laid 
before a council. The hatchet having been laid on the ground, he delivered 
a long speech, while holding the war-belt in his hand, always closing the 
address with the request to take up the hatchet, and then delivering the war- 
belt. If this was complied with, no more was said, and this ac£ was considered 
as a solemn promise to lend every assistance; but if neither the hatchet was 
taken up nor the belt accepted, the ambassador drew the just conclusion that 
the nation preferred to remain neutral, and without any further ceremony 
returned home. 

" The Delawares and Iroquois were very informal in declaring war. They 
often sent out small parties, seized the first man they met belonging to the 
nation they had intended to engage, killed and scalped him, then cleaved his 
head with a hatchet, which they left sticking in it, or laid a war-club, painted 
red, upon the body of the victim. This was a formal challenge. In consequence 
of which, a captain of an insulted party would take up the weapons of the 
murderers and hasten into their country, to be revenged upon them. If he 
returned with a scalp, he thought he had avenged the rights of his own nation. 

" Among the Delawares and Iroquois it required but little time to make 
preparations for war. One of the most necessary preparations was to paint 
themselves red and black, for they held it that the most horrid appearance of 
war was the greatest ornament. Some captains fasted and attended to their 
dreams, with the view to gain intelligence of the issue of the war. The night 
previous to the march of the army was spent in feasting, at which the chiefs 
were present, when either a hog or some dogs were killed. Dog's flesh, said 
they, inspired them with the genuine martial spirit. Even women, in some 
instances, partook of this feast, and ate dog's flesh greedily. Now and then, 
when a warrior was induced to make a solemn declaration of his war inclina- 
tion, he held up a piece of dog's flesh in sight of all present and devoured it, 
and pronounced these words, ' Thus will I devour my enemies !' After the 
feast the captain and all his people began the war-dance, and continued till 
daybreak, till they had become quite hoarse and weary. They generally danced 
all together, and each in his turn took the head of a hog in his hand. As 
both their friends and the women generally accompanied them to the first 
night's encampment, they halted about two or three miles from the town, 
danced the war-dance once more, and the day following began their march. 

32 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

Before they made an attack they reconnoitred every part of the country. To 
this end they dug holes in the ground; if practicable, in a hillock, covered 
with wood, in which they kept a small charcoal fire, from which they discovered 
the motions of the enemy undiscovered. When they sought a prisoner or a 
scalp, they ventured, in many instances, even in daytime, to execute their 
designs. Effectually to accomplish this, they skulked behind a bulky tree, and 
crept slyly around the trunk, so as not to be observed by the person or persons 
for whom they lay in ambush. In this way they slew many. But if they had 
a family or town in view, they always preferred the night, when their enemies 
were wrapped in profound sleep, and in this way killed, scalped, and made pris- 
oners of many of the enemies, set fire to the houses, and retired with all pos- 
sible haste to the woods or some place of safe retreat. To avoid pursuit, they 
disguised their footmarks as much as possible. They depended much on 
stratagem for their success. Even in war they thought it more honorable to 
distress their enemy more by stratagem than combat. The English, not aware 
of the artifice of the Indians, lost an army when Braddock was defeated. 

" The Indian's cruelty, when victorious, was without bounds ; their thirst 
for blood was almost unquenchable. They never made peace till compelled 
by necessity. No sooner were terms of peace proposed than the captains laid 
down their office and delivered the government of the state into the hands of 
the chiefs. A captain had no more right to conclude a peace than a chief to 
begin war. When peace had been offered to a captain he could give no other 
answer than to mention the proposal to the chief, for as a warrior he could 
not make peace. If the chief inclined to peace, he used all his influence to 
effect that end, and all hostility ceased, and, in conclusion, the calumet, or 
peace-pipe, was smoked and belts of wampum exchanged, and a concluding 
speech made, with the assurance ' that their friendship should last as long 
as the sun and moon give light, rise and set; as long as the stars shine in 
the firmament, and the rivers flow with water.' " 

The weapons employed by our Indians two hundred years ago were axes, 
arrows, and knives of. stone. Shells were sometimes used to make knives. 

The Indian bow was made as follows : the hickory limb was cut with a 
stone axe, the wood was then heated on both sides near a fire until it was soft 
enough to scrape down to the proper size and shape. 

A good bow measured forty-six inches in length, three-fourths of an inch 
thick in the centre, and one and a quarter inches in width, narrowing down 
to the points to five-eighths of an inch. The ends were thinner than the 
middle. Bow-making was tedious work. 

" The bow-string was made of the ligaments obtained from the vertebra 
of the elk. The ligament was split, scraped, and twisted into a cord by rolling 
the fibres between the palm of the hand and the thigh. One end of the string 
was knotted to the bow, but the other end was looped, in order that the bow 
could be quickly strung." 

3 33 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

Quivers to carry the arrows were made of dressed buckskin, with or 
without the fur. The squaws did all the tanning. 

The arrow-heads were made of flint or other hard stone or bone; they 
were fastened to the ash or hickory arrows with the sinews of the deer. The 
arrow was about two feet and a half in length, and a feather was fastened to 
the butt end to give it a rotary motion in. its flight. 

Poisoned arrows were made by dipping them into decomposed liver, to 
which had been added the poison of the rattlesnake. The venom or decom- 
posed animal matter no doubt caused blood-poisoning and death.'^ 

Bows and arrows were long used by the red men after the mtroduction 
of fire-arms, because the Indian could be more sure of his game without 
revealing his presence. For a long time after the introduction of fire- 
arms the Indians were more expert with the bow and arrow than with the 

rifle. 

Their tobacco-pipes were made of stone bowls and ash stems. Canoes 
were made of birch or linn-wood bark, and many wigwam utensils of that 
bark. This bark was peeled in early spring. The bark canoe was the Ameri- 
can Indian's invention. 

When runners were sent with messages to other tribes the courier took 
an easy running gait, which he kept up for hours at a time. It was a " dog- 
trot," an easy, jogging gait. Of course he had no clothes on except a breech- 
clout and moccasins. He always carried both arms up beside the chest with 
the fists clinched and held in front of the breast. He ate but little the day 
before his departure. A courier could make a hundred miles from sunrise to 

sunset. 

When a young squaw was ready to marry she wore something on her 

head as a notice. 

Then kettles were made of clay, or what was called " pot stone." 
The stone hatchets were in the shape of a wedge ; they were of no use 
in felling trees. They did this with a fire around the roots of the tree. Their 
stone pestles were about twelve inches long and five inches thick. They used 
bird-claws for " fish-hooks." They made their ropes, bridles, nets, etc., out 
of a wild weed called Indian hemp. 

The twine or cords were manufactured by the squaws, who gathered 
stalks of this hemp, separating them into filaments, and then taking a number 
of filaments in one hand, rolled them rapidly upon their bare thighs until 
twisted, locking, from time to time, the ends with fresh fibres. The cord thus 
made was finished by dressing with a mixture of grease and wax, and drawn 
over a smooth groove in a stone. 

* It was originally the practice of our Indians, as of all other savage people, to 
cut off in war the heads of their enemies for trophies, but for convenience in retreat this 
was changed to scalping. 

34 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

Their hominy-mills can be seen yet about a mile north of Samuel Temple's 
barn, in Warsaw Township, Jefferson County. Corn, potatoes, and tobacco 
were unknown until the discovery of America. 

All the stone implements of our Indians except arrows were ground and 
polished. How this was done the reader must imagine. Indians had their 
mechanics and their workshops or " spots" where implements were made. 
You must remember that the Indian had no iron or steel tools, only bone, stone, 
and wood to work with. The flint arrows were made from a stone of uniform 
density. Large chips were flaked or broken from the rock. These chips were 
again deftly chipped with bone chisels into arrows, and made straight by 
pressure. A lever was used on the rock to separate chips, — a bone tied to 
a heavy stick. 

From Jones's " Antiquities of the Southern Indians" the writer has 
gleaned most of the following facts : They had a limited variety of copper 
implements, which were of rare occurrence, and which were too soft to be 
of use in working so hard a material as flint or quartzite. Hence it is believed 
that they fashioned their spear- and arrow-heads with other implements than 
those of iron or steel. They must have acquired, by their observation and 
numerous experiments, a thorough and practical knowledge of cleavage, — 
that is, " the tendency to split in certain directions, which is characteristic of 
most of the crystallizable minerals." Captain John Smith, speaking of the 
Virginia Indians in his sixth voyage, says, " His arrow-head he quickly maketh 
with a little bone, which he weareth at his bracelet, of a splint of a stone or 
glasse, in the form of a heart, and these they glue to the ends of the arrows. 
With the sinews of the deer and the tops of deers' horns boiled to a jelly they 
make a glue which will not dissolve in cold water." Schoolcraft says, " The 
skill displayed in this art, as it is exhibited by the tribes of the entire con- 
tinent, has excited admiration. The material employed is generally some 
form of horn stone, sometimes passing into flint. No specimens have, how- 
ever, been observed where the substance is gun-flint. The horn-stone is less 
hard than common quartz, and can be readily broken by contact with the 
latter." Catlin, in his " Last Ramble among the Indians," says, " Every tribe 
has its factory in which these arrow-heads are made, and in these only certain 
adepts are able or allowed to make them for the use of the tribe. Erratic 
bowlders of flint are collected and sometimes brought an immense distance, 
and broken with a sort of sledge-hammer made of a rounded pebble of horn- 
stone set in a twisted withe, holding the stone and forming a handle. The 
flint, at the indiscriminate blows of the sledge, is broken into a hundred pieces,' 
and such flakes selected as from the angles of their fracture and thickness will 
answer as the basis of an arrow-head. The master-workman, seated on the 
ground, lays one of these flakes on the palm of his hand, holding it firmly 
down with two or more fingers of the same hand, and with his right hand, 
between the thumb and two forefingers, places his chisel or punch on the 

.35 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

point that is to be broken off, and a co-operator— a striker— in front of him, 
with a mallet of very hard wood, strikes the chisel or punch on the upper 
end, flaking the flint off on the under side below each projecting point that is 
struck. The flint is then turned and chipped in the same manner from 
the opposite side, and that is chipped until required shape and dimensions 
are obtained, all the fractures being made on the palm of the hand. In 
selecting the flake for the arrow-head a nice judgment must be used or the 
attempt will fail. A flake with two opposite parallel, or nearly parallel, planes 
of cleavage is found, and of the thickness required for the centre of the arrow- 
point. The first chipping reaches nearly to the centre of these planes, but 
without quite breaking it away, and each clipping is shorter and shorter, until 
the shape and edge of the arrow-head is formed. The yielding elasticity of 
the palm of the hand enables the chip to come off without breaking the body 
of the flint, which would be the case if they were broken on a hard substance. 
These people have no metallic instruments to work with, and the punch which 
they use, I was told, was a piece of bone, but on examining it, I found it to be 
of substance much harder, made of the tooth— incisor— of the sperm whale, 
which cetaceans are often stranded on the coast of the Pacific." 

" A considerable number of Indians must have returned and settled along 
the Red Bank as late as 1815-16. James White, of ' Mexico,' informed the 
writer that three hundred of them, about that time, settled along this stream 
below Brookville, partly in Armstrong County. Respecting their return to 
this section. Dr. M. A. Ward wrote to Eben Smith Kelly, at Kittanning, from 
Pittsburg, January 18, 181 7, — 

" ' I am not at all surprised that the sober, industrious, religious inhabi- 
tants of Red Bank should be highly incensed at their late accession of emi- 
grants, not only because by them they will probably be deprived of many fat 
bucks and delicious turkeys, to which, according to the strict interpretation of 
all our game laws, they have as good a right, if they have the fortune to find 
and the address to shoot them, as any " dirty, nasty" Indians whatever, but 
because the presence and examples of such neighbors must have a very de- 
praving influence upon the morals. Their insinuating influence will be apt to 
divert the minds of the farmers from the sober pursuits of agriculture and 
inspire a propensity for the barbarous pleasures of the chase. . . . But what 
is worse than all, I have heard that they love whiskey to such an inordinate 
degree as to get sometimes beastly drunk, and even beat their wives and behave 
unseemly before their families, which certainly must have a most demoralizing 
tendency on the minds of the rising generation.' " — History of Armstrong 
County. 

The Delaware Indians styled themselves " Lenni Lenape," the original 
or unchanged people. The eastern division of their people was divided into 
three tribes,— the Unamies, or Turtles of the sea-shore ; the Unochlactgos, or 
Turkeys of the woods ; and the Minsi-monceys, or Wolves of the mountains. 

36 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

A few of the Muncy villages of this latter division were scattered as far west 
as the valley of the Allegheny. 

From Peon's arrival in 1682 the Dela wares were subject to the Iroquois, 
or the confederacy of the Six Nations, who were the most warlike savages 
in America. The Iroquois were usually known among the English people as 
the Five Nations. The nations were divided and known as the Mohawks, the 
fire-striking people, having been the first to procure fire-arms. The Senecas, 
mountaineers, occupied Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania. 
They were found in great numbers along the Allegheny and its tributaries. 
Their great chiefs were Cornplanter and Guyasutha. This tribe was the 
most numerous, powerful, and warlike of the Iroquois nation, and comprised 
the Indians of Northwestern Pennsylvania. 

" But these were Indians pure and uncorrupted. Before many a log fire, 
at night, old settlers have often recited how clear, distinct, and immutable 
were their laws and customs ; that when fully understood a white man could 
transact the most important business with as much safety as he can to-day in 
any commercial centre. 

" In this day and age of progress we pride ourselves upon our railroads 
and telegraph as means of rapid communication, and yet, while it was well 
known to the early settlers that news and light freight would travel with 
incomprehensible speed from tribe to tribe, people of the present day fail to 
understand the complete system by which it was done. 

" In many places through the western counties you will find traces of pits, 
which the early settlers will tell you were dug by white men looking for silver, 
which, as well as copper, was common among the Indians, and was supposed 
by first comers to be found in the vicinity; but experience soon proved the 
copper came, perhaps, from Lake Superior, by this Indian express, as we 
might term it, and the silver, just as possible, from the far West. Our rail- 
roads wind along the valleys, almost regardless of length or circuit, if a gradual 
rise can only be obtained. To travellers on wheels straight distances between 
points are much less formidable than is generally supposed. We find traces 
of the example of the Indian in the first white men. The first settlers of 1799 
and 1805 took their bags of grain on their backs, walked fifty miles to a mill, 
and brought home their flour the same way." 

" The following is taken from the ' Early Days of Punxsutawney and 
Western Pennsylvania,' contributed a few years ago to the Punxsutawney 
Plaindealer by the late John K. Coxson, Esq., who had made considerable 
research into Indian history, and was an enthusiast on the subject. According 
to Mr. Coxson, ' More than eighteen hundred years ago the Iroquois held a 
lodge in Punxsutawney (this town still bears its Indian name, which was their 
sobriquet for "gnat town"), to which point they could ascend with their 
canoes, and go still higher up the Mahoning to within a few hours' travel of 
the summit of the Allegheny Mountains. There were various Indian trails 

37 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

traversing the forests, one of which entered Punxsutawney near where Judge 
Mitchell now (1898) resides. 

" ' These trails were the thoroughfares or roadways of the Indians, over 
which they journeyed when on the chase or the " war-path," just as the people 
of the present age travel over their graded roads. " An erroneous impression 
obtains among many at the present day that the Indian, in travelling the inter- 
minable forests which once covered our towns and fields, roamed at random, 
like a modern afternoon hunter, by no fixed paths, or that he was guided in 
his long journeyings solely by the sun and stars, or by the course of the 
streams and mountains ; and true it is that these untutored sons of the woods 
were considerable astronomers and geographers, and relied much upon these 
unerring guide-marks of nature. Even in the most starless nights they could 
determine their course by feeling the bark of the oak-trees, which is always 
smoothest on the south side and roughest on the north. ' But still they had their 
trails, or paths, as distinctly marked as are our county and State roads, and 
often better located. The white traders adopted them, and often stole their 
names, to be in turn surrendered to the leader of some Anglo-Saxon army, 
and, finally, obliterated by some costly highway of travel and commerce. They 
are now almost wholly effaced or forgotten. Hundreds travel along, or plough 
over them, unconscious that they are in the footsteps of the red men." * It 
has not taken long to obliterate all these Indian landmarks from our land; 
little more than a century ago the Indians roamed over all this western coun- 
try, and now scarce a vestige of their presence remains. Much has been written 
and said about their deeds of butchery and cruelty. True, they were cruel, 
and in many instances fiendish, in their inhuman practices, but they did not 
meet the first settlers in this spirit. Honest, hospitable, religious in their 
belief, reverencing their Manitou, or Great Spirit, and willing to do anything 
to please their white brother, — this is how they met their first white visitors ; 
but when they had seen nearly all their vast domain appropriated by the 
invaders, when wicked white men had introduced into their midst the " wicked 
fire-water," which is to-day the cause of many an act of fiendishness perpe- 
trated by those who are not untutored savages, then the Indian rebelled, all 
the savage in his breast was aroused, and he became pitiless and cruel in the 
extreme. 

" ' It is true that our broad domains were purchased and secured by treaty, 
but the odds were always on the side of the whites. The " Colonial Records" 
give an account of the treaty of 1686, by which a deed for " walking purchase 
was executed, by which the Indians sold as far as. a man could walk in a day. 
But when the walk was to be made the most active white man was obtained 
who ran from daylight until dark, as fast as he was able, without stopping to 
eat or drmk. This much dissatisfied the Indians, who expected to walk leis- 



" This paragraph was taken from Judge Veech 
38 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

urely, resting at noon to eat and shoot game, and one old chief expressed his 
dissatisfaction as follows : ' Lun, lun, lun ; no lay down to drink ; no stop 
to shoot squirrel, but lun, lun, lun all day ; me no keep up ; lun, lun for land.' 
That deed, it is said, does not now exist, but was confirmed in 1737." 

When the white man came the Indians were a temperate people, and 
their chiefs tried hard to prohibit the sale of intoxicating drinks among their 
tribes; and when one Sylvester Garland, in 1701, introduced rum among 
them and induced them to drink, at a council held in Philadelphia, Shemeken- 
whol, chief of the Shawnese, complained to Governor William Penn, and at 
a council held on the 13th of October, 1701, this man was held in the sum 
of one hundred pounds never to deal rum to the Indians again ; and the bond 
and sentence was approved by Judge Shippen, of Philadelphia. At the chief's 
suggestion the council enacted a law prohibiting the trade in rum with the 
Indians. Still later the ruling chiefs of the Six Nations opposed the use of 
rum, and Red Jacket, in a speech at Buffalo, wished that whiskey would never 
be less than " a dollar a quart." He answered the missionary's remarks on 
drunkenness thus : " Go to the white man with that." A council, held on the 
Allegheny River, deplored the murder of the Wigden family in Butler County 
by a Seneca Indian while under the influence of whiskey, approved the sen- 
tence of our law, and again passed their prohibitory resolutions, and implored 
the white man not to give rum to the Indian.' 

" Mr. Coxson claims that the council of the Delawares, Muncys, Shaw- 
nese, Nanticokes, Tuscorawas, and Mingos, to protest against the sale of their 
domain by the Six Nations, at Albany, in 1754, was held at Punxsutawney, 
and cites Joncaire's ' Notes on Indian Warfare,' ' Life of Bezant,' etc. ' It 
is said they ascended the tributary of La Belle Riviere to the mountain village 
on the way to Chinklacamoose (Clearfield) to attend the council.' * At that 
council, though Sheklemas, the Christian king of the Delawares, and other 
Christian chiefs, tried hard to prevent the war, they were overruled, and the 
tribes decided to go to war with their French allies against the colony. ' Trav- 
ellers, as early as 1731, reported to the council of the colony of a town sixty 
miles from the Susquehanna.' f 

" ' After the failure of the expedition against Fort Duquesne, the white 
captives were taken to Kittanning, Logtown, and Pukeesheno (Punxsutaw- 
ney). The sachem, Pukeesheno (for whom the town was called), was the 
father of Tecumseh and his twin brother, the Prophet, and was a Shawnese. 
We make this digression to add another proof that Punxsutawney was named 
after a Shawnese chief as early as 1750.' X 

" ' I went with Captain Brady on an Indian hunt up the Allegheny River. 
We found a good many signs of the savages, and I believe we were so much 
like the savages (when Brady went on a scouting expedition he always dressed 



* Joncaire. t Bezant. t History of Western Pennsylvania, p. 302. 

39 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

in Indian costume) that they could hardly have known us from a band of 
Shawnese. But they had an introduction to us near the mouth of Red Bank. 
General Brodhead was on the route behind Captain Brady, who discovered 
the Indians on the march. He lay concealed among the rocks until the painted 
chiefs and their braves had got fairly into the narrow pass, when Brady and 
his men opened a destructive fire. The sylvan warriors returned the volley 
with terrific yells that shook the caverns and mountains from base to crest. 
The fight was short but sanguine. The Indians left the pass and retired, and 
soon were lost sight of in the deepness of the forest. We returned with three 
children recaptured, whose parents had been killed at Greensburg. We imme- 
diately set out on a path that led us to the mountains, to a lodge the savages 
had near the head-waters of Mahoning and Red Bank. 

" ' We crossed the Mahoning about forty miles from Kittanning, and 
entered a town, which we found deserted. It seemed to be a hamlet, built by 
the Shawnese. From there we went over high and rugged hills, through 
laurel thickets, darkened by tall pine and hemlock groves, for one whole day, 
and lay quietly down on the bank of a considerable stream (Sandy Lick). 
About midnight Brady was aroused by the sound of a rifle not far down the 
creek. We arose and stole quietly along about half a mile, when we heard 
the voices of Indians but a short distance below us; there another creek 
unites its waters with the one upon whose banks we had rested. We ascer- 
tained that two Indians had killed a deer at a lick. They were trying to strike 
a light to dress their game. When the flame of pine-knots blazed brightly 
and revealed the visages of the savages, Brady appeared to be greatly excited, 
and perhaps the caution that he always took when on a war-path was at that 
time disregarded. Revenge swallowed and absorbed every faculty of his soul. 
He recognized the Indian who was foremost, when they chased him, a few 
months before, so closely that he was forced to leap across a chasm of stone 
on the slippery rock twenty-three feet; between the jaws of granite there 
roared a deep torrent twenty feet deep. When Brady saw Conemah he sprang 
forward and planted his tomahawk in his head. The other Indian, who had 
his knife in his hand, sprang at Brady. The long, bright steel glistened in his 
uplifted hand, when the flash of Farley's rifle was the death-light of the brave, 
who sank to the sands. . . . Brady scalped the Indians in a moment, and drew 
the deer into the thicket to finish dressing it, but had not completed his under- 
taking when he heard a noise in the branches of the neighboring trees. He 
sprang forward, quenched the flame, and in breathless silence listened for the 
least sound, but nothing was heard save the rustling of the leaves, stirred by 
the wind. One of the scouts softly crept along the banks of the creek to catch 
the faintest sound that echoes on the water, when he found a canoe down upon 
the beach. The scout communicated this to Brady, who resolved to embark 
on this craft, if it was large enough to carry the company. It was found to 
be of sufficient size. We all embarked and took the deer along. We had not 

40 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

gone forty rods down the stream when the savages gave a war-whoop, and 
about a mile off they were answered with a hundred voices. We heard them 
in pursuit as we went dashing down the frightful and unknown stream. We 
gained on them. We heard their voices far behind us, until the faint echoes 
of the hundreds of warriors were lost ; but, unexpectedly, we found ourselves 
passing full fifty canoes drawn up on the beach. Brady landed a short distance 
below. There was no time to lose. If the pursuers arrived they might over- 
take the scouts. It was yet night. He took four of his men along, and with 
great caution unmoored the canoes and sent them adrift. The scouts below 
secured them, and succeeded in arriving at Brodhead's quarters with the 
scalps of two Indians and their whole fleet, which disabled them much from 
carrying on their bloody expeditions.' 

" In the legend of Noshaken, the white captive of the Dela wares, in 1753, 
who was kept at a village supposed to have been Punxsutawney, occurs the 
following : ' The scouts were on the track of the Indians, the time of burning 
of the captives was extended, and the whole band prepared to depart for Fort 
Venango with the prisoners. . . . They continued on for twenty miles, and 
encamped by a beautiful spring, where the sand boiled up from the bottom 
near where two creeks unite. Here they passed the night, and the next 
morning again headed for Fort Venango. 

" ' This spring is believed to have been the " sand spring" at Brookville.' " 
The Indian wampum, or money, was of two kinds, white and purple ; the 
white is worked out of the inside of the great shells into the form of a bead, 
and perforated, to string on leather; the purple is taken out of the inside of 
the mussel shell; they are woven as broad as one's hand and about two feet 
long ; these they call belts, which they give and receive at their treaties as the 
seals of friendship; for lesser matters a single string is given. Every bead 
is of known value, and a belt of a less number is made to equal one of a greater 
by fastening so many as is wanting to the belt by a string. 



PUNXSUTAWNEY 

Punxsutawney was an Indian town for centuries and, like all other towns 
of the Indian before the white man reached this continent with fire-arms, was 
stockaded. 

The word " punxsu" means gnat. The land was a swamp, and alive with 
gnats, mosquitoes, turtles, and reptiles. For protection against the gnats the 
Indians anointed themselves with oil and ointments made of fat and poisons. 
Centuries ago the Indians of Punxsutawney dressed themselves in winter with 
a cloak made of buffalo, bear, or beaver skins, with a leather girdle, and stock- 
ings or moccasins of buckskin. It might be well to state here that the beavers 
were of all colors, white, yellow, spotted, gray, but mostly black. The Indian 
subsisted mostly on game, but when pressed for food ate acorns, nuts, and the 

41 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

inside bark of the birch-tree. As agriculturists each was apportioned a piece 
of land outside of the stockade, which was planted by the squaws in corn, 
squashes, and tobacco. A hole was made in the ground with a stick and a 
grain of corn put in each hole. Population among Indians did not increase 
rapidly. Mothers often nursed their papooses until they were five, six, and 
seven years old. 

Not knowing how to dig wells, they located their ga-no-sote and villages 
on the banks of runs and creeks, or in the vicinity of springs. About the 
period of the formation of the league, when they were exposed to the inroads 
of hostile nations, and the warfare of migratory bands, their villages were 
compact and stockaded. Having run a trench several feet deep around five 
or ten acres of land, and thrown up the ground on the inside, they set a 
continuous row of stakes, burned at the ends, in this bank of earth, fixing 
them at such an angle that they inclined over the trench. Sometimes a village 
was surrounded by a double or even triple row of stakes. Within this enclosure 
they constructed their bark houses and secured their stores. Around it was 
the village field, consisting oftentimes of several hundred acres of cultivated 
land, which was subdivided into planting lots; those belonging to different 
families being bounded by uncultivated ridges. 

The entrances to the stockade were anciently contrived so that they could 
be defended from assault by a very few men. 

The Iroquois were accustomed to live largely in villages, and the stock- 
ades built about these villages protected them from sudden assaults and ren- 
dered it possible for the houses within to be built according to a method of 
construction such that they might last for a long time. 

At the two ends of the houses were doors, either of bark hung on hinges 
of wood, or of deer- or bear-skins suspended before the opening, and however 
long the house, or whatever number of fires, these were the only entrances. 
Over one of these doors was cut the tribal device of the head of the family. 
Within, upon the two sides, were arranged wide seats, also of bark boards, 
about two feet from the ground, well supported underneath, and reaching the 
entire length of the house. Upon these they spread their mats of skins, and 
also their blankets, using them as seats by day and couches at night. Similar 
berths were constructed on each side, about five feet above these, and secured 
to the frame of the house, thus furnishing accommodations for the family. 
Upon cross-poles near the roof were hung in bunches, braided together by the 
husks, their winter supply of corn. Charred and dried corn and beans were 
generally stored in bark barrels and laid away in corners. Their implements 
for the chase, domestic utensils, weapons, articles of apparel, and miscella- 
neous notions were stored away, and hung up wherever an unoccupied place 
was discovered. A house of this description would accommodate a family 
of eight, with the limited wants of the Indian, and afford shelter for their 
necessary stores, making a not uncomfortable residence. After they had 

A2 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

learned the use of the axe, they began to substitute houses of logs, but they 
constructed them after the ancient model. 

Our Indians were the Senecas, and they had six yearly festivals. These 
festivals consisted of dancing, singing, and thanksgiving to -the Great Spirit 
for his gifts. The New Year was an acknowledgment for the whole year, 
and the white dog was sent to the Great Spirit to take to him their messages. 
The dog was the only animal they could trust to carry their messages. 

1. The Maple Festival, for yielding its sweet water. 

2. The Planting Festival. 

3. The Strawberry Festival. 

4. Green Com Festival. 

5. The Harvesting Festival. 

6. New Year or White Dog Sacrifice. 

The Indians had no Sunday. Our Indians called themselves Nun-ga- 
wah-gah, " The Great Hill People," and their legend was that they sprung 
from the ground. The civil chiefs wore horns as an emblem of power. 

The moccasin was an Indian invention, and one of great antiquity. The 
needle was made from a bone taken from the ankle-joint of the deer, and the 
thread was from the sinews. The deer-skin was tanned by the use of the 
brains of the deer. The brains were dried in cakes for future use. Bear-skins 
were not tanned, but were used for cloaks and beds. 

Indian corn was red and white flint. They ground it in mortars and sifted 
it in a basket, and then baked it in loaves an inch thick and about six inches 
in diameter. They had a way of charring corn so it would keep for years. 
They would pick ears while green, roast it, dry it in the sun, mix with it about 
a third of maple sugar, and pound it into flour. This they carried with them 
on long trips. 

For ropes and straps, raw hide and barks were used ; the bark made the 
best ropes. The inside bark of the elm or bass-wood was boiled in ashes, 
separated into filaments, and then braided into rope. 

Their knives were made of flint and horn-stone. Tomahawks were made 
of stone. They buried food with their dead. 

Their cooking-vessels could not be exposed to fire, hence they used large 
upright vessels made of birch-bark, in which to boil food. Repeatedly putting 
stones red-hot into the water in these vessels, forcing them to boil. 

The Indian was a great ball-player and fond of games, swift in races ; in 
truth, the Indian was built for fleetness and not for strength ; his life of pursuit 
educated him that way. Their feathers and war-paint was nothing else than 
crude heraldry. The squaws did the work, they were more apt than the 
braves. Paint spread upon the face and body indicated the tribe, prowess, 
honor, etc., of the individual and family, and the arbitrary methods employed 
by the squaws made their heraldry hard to understand. The facial heraldry 
was unique both in representation and subject. Every picture had its signifi- 

45 



HISTORY or NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

cance. If a squaw was in love she daubed a ring around one of her eyes. 
This meant I am ready for a proposal. This symbol worn by a buck indicated 
he was in the market, too. When love matters were running smoothly with a 
squaw she painted her cheeks a cherry-red, and a straight mark on her fore- 
head, which meant a happy road. A zigzag mark on the forehead meant 
lightning. In case of a death in the family the squaw painted her cheeks black. 
Before a battle each warrior had smeared on the upper part of his body a 
wolf, herron, snipe, etc., to indicate his tribe, so that if he was killed his tribe 
could recognize his body and come for it. 

In 1762 the great Moravian missionary. Rev. John Heckewelder, may 
have, and probably did, spend a day or two in Punxsutawney. In or about 
the year 1765 a Moravian missionary — viz.. Rev. David Zeisberger — estab- 
lished a mission near the present town of Wyalusing, Bradford County, Penn- 
sylvania. He erected forty frame buildings, with shingle roofs and chimneys, 
in connection with other improvements, and Christianized a large number of 
the savages. The Muncy Indians were then living in what is now called 
Forest County, on the Allegheny River. This brave, pious missionary deter- 
mined to reach these savages also, and, with two Christian Indian guides, he 
traversed the solitude of the forests and reached his destination on the i6th 
of October, 1767. He remained with these savages but seven days; they 
were good listeners to his sermons, but every day he was in danger of being 
murdered. Of these Indians he wrote, — 

" I have never found such heathenism in any other parts of the Indian 
country. Here Satan has his stronghold. Here he sits on his throne. Here 
he is worshipped by true savages, and carries on his work in the hearts of the 
children of darkness." These, readers, were the Indians that roamed over our 
hills, then either Lancaster or Berks County. In 1768 this brave minister 
returned and put up a log cabin, twenty-six by sixteen feet, and in 1769 was 
driven back to what is now called Wyalusing by repeated attempts on his life. 
He says in his journal, " For ten months I have lived between these two 
towns of godless and malicious savages, and my preservation is wonderful." 

In 1768 the six Indian nations having by treaty sold the land from 
" under the feet" of the Wyalusing converts, the Rev. Zeisberger was com- 
pelled to take measures for the removal of these Christian Indians, with their 
horses and cattle, to some other field. After many councils and much consid- 
eration, he determined to remove the entire body to a mission he had estab- 
lished on the Big Beaver, now Lawrence County, Pennsylvania. Accordingly, 
" on the nth of June, 1772, everything being in readiness, the congregation 
assembled for the last time in their church and took up their march toward 
the setting sun." They were " divided into two companies, and each of these 
were subdivided. One of these companies went overland by the Wyalusing 
path, up the Sugar Run, and down the Loyal Sock, via Dushore. This com- 
pany was in charge of Ettwein, who had the care of the horses and cattle. 

46 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

The other company was in charge of Rothe, and went by canoe down the 
Susquehannah and up the west branch." The place for the divisions to unite 
was the Great Island, now Lock Haven, and from there, under the lead of 
Rev. John Ettwein, to proceed up the west branch of the Susquehanna, and 
then cross the mountains over the Chinklacamoose path, through what is now 
Clearfield and Punxsutawney, and from there to proceed, via Kittanning, to 
the Big Beaver, now in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania. Reader, just think 
of two hundred and fifty people of all ages, with seventy head of oxen and a 
greater number of horses, traversing these deep forests, over a small path 
sometimes scarcely discernible, under drenching rains, and through dismal 
swamps, and all this exposure continued for days and weeks, wild beasts 
to the right and to the left of them, and the path alive with rattlesnakes in 
front of them, wading streams and overtaken by sickness, and then, dear 
reader, you will conclude with me that nothing but " praying all night in the 
wilderness" ever carried them successfully to their destination. This story 
of Rev. Ettwein is full of interest. I reprint a paragraph or two that applies 
to what is now Jefferson County, — viz. : 

" 1/^2, Tuesday, July 14. — Reached Clearfield Creek, where the Buffaloes 
formerly cleared large tracts of undergrowth, so as to give them the appearance 
of cleared fields. Hence the Indians called the creek ' Clearfield.' Here we 
shot nine deer. On the route we shot one hundred and fifty deer and three 
bears. 

" Friday, July 17. — ^Advanced only four miles to a creek that comes down 
from the Northwest." This was and is Anderson Creek, near Curwensville, 
Pennsylvania. 

" July 18. — Moved on . . . 

" Sunday, July ip. — As yesterday, but two families kept up with me, 
because of the rain, we had a quiet Sunday, but enough to do drying our 
effects. In the evening all joined me, but we could hold no service as the 
Ponkies were so excessively annoying that the cattle pressed toward and into 
our camp to escape their persecutors in the smoke of the fire. This vermin 
is a plague to man and beast by day and night, but in the swamp through 
which we are now passing, their name is legion. Hence the Indians call it 
the Ponsetunik, i.e., the town of the Ponkies." This swamp was in what we 
now call Punxsutawney. These people on their route lived on fish, venison, etc. 




CHAPTER III 



CORNPLANTER — OUR CHIEF CHIEF OF THE SENECAS, ONE OF THE SIX NATIONS 

BRIEF HISTORY SOME SPEECHES LIFE AND DEATH 

In the year 1784 the treaty to which Cornplanter, or Beautiful Lake, was 
a party was made at Fort Stanwix, ceding the whole of Northwestern Penn- 
sylvania to the Commonwealth, with the exception of a small individual reserve 
to Cornplanter. The frontier, however, was not at peace for some years after 
that, nor, indeed, until Wayne's treaty in 1795. 

Notwithstanding his bitter hostility, while the war continued, he became 
the fast friend of the United States when once the hatchet was buried. His 
sagacious intellect comprehended at a glance the growing power of the United 
States, and the abandonment with which Great Britain had requited the fidelity 
of the Senecas. He therefore threw all his influence at the treaty of Fort 
Stanwix, now Rome, New York, and Fort Harmar in favor of peace. And 
notwithstanding the large concessions which he saw his people were necessi- 
tated to make, still, by his energy and prudence in the negotiation, he retained 
for them an ample and beautiful reservation. For the course which he took 
on those occasions the State of Pennsylvania granted him the fine reservation 
upon which he resided on the Allegheny. The Senecas, however, were never 
satisfied with his course in relation to these treaties, and Red Jacket, more 
artful and eloquent than his elder rival, but less frank and honest, seized upon 
this circumstance to promote his own popularity at the expense of Cornplanter. 

Having buried the hatchet, Cornplanter sought to make his talents useful 
to his people by conciliating the good will of the whites and securing from 
further encroachment the little remnant of his national domain. On more 
than one occasion, when some reckless and bloodthirsty whites on the frontier 
had massacred unoffending Indians in cold blood, did Cornplanter interfere 
to restrain the vengeance of his people. During all the Indian wars from 
1 79 1 to 1794, which terminated with Wayne's treaty, Cornplanter pledged 
himself that the Senecas should remain friendly to the United States. He 
often gave notice to the garrison at Fort Franklin of intended attacks from 
hostile parties, and even hazarded his life on a mediatorial mission to the 
Western tribes. 

The following is an extract from a speech of Cornplanter to representa- 
tives of the United States government appointed to meet him at Fort Franklin 
8th of March, 1796: 

48 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" I thank the Ahnighty for giving us luck to meet together at this time, 
and in this place as brethren, and hope my brothers will assist me in writing 
to Congress what I have now to say. 

" I thank the Almighty that I am speaking this good day. I have been 
through all Nations in America, and am sorry to see the folly of many of the 







people. What makes me sorry is they all tell lies, and I never found truth 
amongst them. All the western Nations of Indians, as well as white people, 
have told me lies. Even in Council I have been deceived, and been told things 
which I have told to my chiefs and young men, which I have found not to be 
so, which makes me tell lies by not being able to make good my word, but I 
4 49 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

hope they will all see their folly and repent. The Almighty has not made us 
to lie, but to tell the truth one to another, for when two people meet together, 
if they lie one to the other, them people cannot be at peace, and so it is with 
nations, and that is the cause of so much war. 

" General Washington, the father of us all, hear what I have now to say, 
and take pity on us poor people. The Almighty has blest you, and not us. 
He has given you education, which enables you to do many things that we 
cannot do. You can travel by sea as well as by land, and know what is doing 
in any other country, which we poor people know nothing about. Therefore 
you ought to pity us. When the Almighty first put us on this land he gave it 
to us to live on. And when the white people first came to it they were very 
poor, and we helped them all in our power; did not kill them, but received 
them as brothers. And now it appears to me as though they were agoing to 
leave us in distress." — Pennsylvania Archives. 

" After peace was permanently established between the Indians and the 
United States, Cornplanter retired from public life and devoted his labors to 
his own people. He deplored the evils of intemperance, and exerted himself 
to suppress it. The benevolent efforts of missionaries among his tribe always 
received his encouragement, and at one time his own heart seemed to be soft- 
ened by the words of truth, yet he preserved in his later years many of the 
peculiar notions of the Indian faith. 

" In 1821-22 the commissioners of Warren County assumed the right to 
tax the private property of Cornplanter, and proceeded to enforce its collec- 
tion. The old chief resisted it, conceiving it not only unlawful, but a personal 
indignity. The sheriff again appeared with a small posse of armed men. 
Cornplanter took the deputation to a room around which were ranged about 
a hundred rifles, and, with the sententious brevity of an Indian, intimated that 
for each rifle a warrior would appear at his call. The sheriflf and his men 
speedily withdrew, determined, however, to call out the militia. Several pru- 
dent citizens, fearing a sanguinary collision, sent for the old chief in a friendly 
way to come to Warren and compromise the matter. He came, and after some 
persuasion, gave his note for the tax, amounting to forty-three dollars and 
seventy-nine cents. He addressed, however, a remonstrance to the governor 
of Pennsylvania, soliciting a return of his money and an exemption from such 
demands against lands which the State itself had presented to him. The 
Legislature annulled the tax, and sent two commissioners to explain the affair 
to him. He met them at the court-house in Warren, on which occasion he 
delivered the following speech, eminently characteristic of himself and his 
race: 

Brothers, yesterday was appointed for us all to meet here. The talk 
which the governor sent us pleased us very much. I think that the Great 
Spirit is very much pleased that the white people have been induced so to 
assist the Indians as they have done, and that he is pleased also to see the 

so 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

great men of this State and of the United States so friendly to us. We are 
much pleased with what has been done. 

The Great Spirit first made the world, and next the flying animals, 
and found all things good and prosperous. He is immortal and everlasting. 
After finishing the flying animals, he came down on earth and there stood. 
Then he made different kinds of trees and weeds of all sort, and people of 
every kind. He made the spring and other seasons and the weather suitable 
for planting. These he did make. But stills to make whiskey to be given to 
^the Indians he did not make. The Great Spirit bids me tell the white people 
not to give Indians this kind of liquor. When the Great Spirit had made the 
earth and its animals, he went into the great lakes, where he breathed as easily 
as anywhere else, and then made all the different kinds of fish. The Great 
Spirit looked back on all that he had made. The different kinds he had made 
to be separate and not to mix with or disturb each other. But the white people 
have broken his command by mixing their color with the Indians. The Indians 
have done better by not doing so. The Great Spirit wishes that all wars and 
fightings should cease. 

" ' He next told us that there were three things for our people to attend 
to. First, we ought to take care of our wives and children. Secondly, the 
white people ought to attend to their farms and cattle. Thirdly, the Great 
Spirit has given the bears and deers to the Indians. He is the cause of all 
things that exist, and it is very wicked to go against his will. The Great 
Spirit wishes me to inform the people that they should quit drinking intoxi- 
cating drink, as being the cause of disease and death. He told us not to sell 
any more of our lands, for he never sold lands to any one. Some of us now 
keep the seventh day, but I wish to quit it, for the Great Spirit made it for 
others, but not for the Indians, who ought every day to attend to their business. 
He has ordered me to quit drinking intoxicating drink, and not to lust after 
any woman but my own, and informs me that by doing so I should live the 
longer. He made known to me that it is very wicked to tell lies. Let no one 
suppose that I have said now is not true. 

" ' I have now to thank the governor for what he has done. I have 
informed him what the Great Spirit has ordered me to cease from, and I wish 
the governor to inform others what I have communicated. This is all I have 
at present to say.' " — Day's Collections. 

The old chief appears after this again to have fallen into entire seclusion, 
taking no part even in the politics of his people. He died at his residence on 
the 7th of March, 1836, at the age of one hundred and four years. " Whether 
at the time of his death he expected to go to the fair hunting-grounds of his 
own people or to the heaven of the Christian is not known." 

" Notwithstanding his profession of Christianity, Cornplanter was very 
superstitious. ' Not long since,' says Mr. Foote, of Chautauqua County, ' he 
said the Good Spirit had told him not to have anything to do with the white 

51 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

people, or even to preserve any mementos or relics that had been given to him 
from time to time by the pale-faces, whereupon, among other things, he burnt 
up his belt and broke his elegant sword.' " 

In reference to the personal appearance of Cornplanter at the close of his 
life, a writer in the Democratic Arch (Venango County) says, — 

" I once saw the aged and venerable chief, and had an interesting inter- 
view with him about a year and a half before his death. I thought of many 
things when seated near him, beneath the wide-spreading shade of an old 
sycamore, on the banks of the Allegheny, — many things to ask him, the scenes 
of the Revolution, the generals that fought its battles and conquered, the 
Indians, his tribe, the Six Nations, and himself. He was constitutionally 
sedate, was never observed to smile, much less to indulge in the luxury of a 
laugh. When I saw him he estimated his age to be over one hundred ; I think 
one hundred and three was about his reckoning of it. This would make him 
near one hundred and five years old at the time of his decease. His person 
was stooped, and his stature was far short of what it once had been, not being 
over five feet six inches at the time I speak of. Mr. John Struthers, of Ohio, 
told me, some years since, that he had seen him near fifty years ago, and at 
that period he was at his height, — viz., six feet one inch. Time and hardship 
had made dreadful impressions upon that ancient form. The chest was 
sunken and his shoulders were drawn forward, making the upper part of his 
body resemble a trough. His limbs had lost size and become crooked. His 
feet (for he had taken off his moccasins) were deformed and haggard by 
injury. I would say that most of the fingers on one hand were useless; the 
sinews had been severed by the blow of a tomahawk or scalping-knife. How 
I longed to ask him what scene of blood and strife had thus stamped the 
enduring evidence of its existence upon his person! But to have done so 
would, in all probability, have put an end to all further conversation on any 
subject. The information desired would certainly not have been received, and 
I had to forego my curiosity. He had but one eye, and even the socket of the 
lost organ was hid by the overhanging brow resting upon the high cheek-bone. 
His remaining eye was of the brightest and blackest hue. Never have I seen 
one, in young or old, that equalled it in brilliancy. Perhaps it had borrowed 
lustre from the eternal darkness that rested on its neighboring orbit. His 
ears had been dressed in the Indian mode, all but the outside ring had been 
cut away. On the one ear this ring had been torn asunder near the top, and 
hung down his neck like a useless rag. He had a full head of hair, white as 
the driven snow, which covered a head of ample dimensions and admirable 
shape. His face was not swarthy, but this may be accounted for from the 
fact, also, that he was but half Indian. He told me he had been at Franklin 
more than eighty years before the period of our conversation, on his passage 
down the Ohio and Mississippi with the warriors of his tribe, in some expe- 
dition against the Creeks or Osages. He had long been a man of peace, and 

S2 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

I believe his great characteristics were humanity and truth. It is said. that 
Brandt and Cornplanter were never friends after the massacre of Cherry 
Valley. Some have alleged, because the Wyoming massacre was perpetrated 
by Senecas, that Cornplanter was there. Of the justice of this suspicion there 
are many reasons for doubt. It is certain that he was not the chief of the 
Senecas at that time. The name of the chief in that expedition was Ge-en- 
quah-toh, or He-goes-in-the-smoke. As he stood before me — the ancient chief 
in ruins — how forcibly was I struck with the truth of that beautiful figure of 
the old aboriginal chieftain, who, in describing himself, said he was ' like an 
aged hemlock, dead at the top, and whose branches alone were green' ! After 
more than one hundred years of most varied life, — of strife, of danger, of 
peace, — he at last slumbers in deep repose on the banks of his own beloved 
Allegheny. 

" Cornplanter was born at Conewongus, on the Genesee River, in 1732, 
being a half-breed, the son of a white man named John O'Bail, a trader from 
the Mohawk Valley. In a letter written in later years to the governor of Penn- 
sylvania he thus speaks of his early youth : ' When I was a child I played 
with the butterfly, the grasshopper, and the frogs ; and as I grew up I began 
to pay some attention and play with the Indian boys in the neighborhood, and 
they took notice of my skin being of a different color from theirs, and spoke 
about it. I inquired from my mother the cause, and she told me my father 
was a resident of Albany. I still ate my victuals out of a bark dish. I grew 
up to be a young man and married a wife, and I had no kettle or gun. I then 
knew where my father lived, and went to see him, and found he was a white 
man and spoke the English language. He gave me victuals while I was at his 
house, but when I started to return home he gave me no provisions to eat on 
the way. He gave me neither kettle nor gun.' 

" Little further is known of his early life beyond the fact that he was 
allied with the French in the engagement against General Braddock in July, 
1755. He was probably at that time at least twenty years old. During the 
Revolution he was a war chief of high rank, in the full vigor of manhood, 
active, sagacious, brave, and he most probably participated in the principal 
Indian engagements against the United States during the war. He is sup- 
posed to have been present at the cruelties of Wyoming and Cherry Valley, in 
which the Senecas took a prominent part. He was on the war-path with 
Brandt during General Sullivan's campaign in 1779, and in the following 
year, under Brandt and Sir John Johnson, he led the Senecas in sweeping 
through the Schoharie and Mohawk Valleys. On this occasion he took his 
father a prisoner, but with such caution as to avoid an immediate recognition. 
After marching the old man some ten or twelve miles, he stepped before him, 
faced about, and addressed him in the following terms : 

" ' My name is John O'Bail, commonly called Cornplanter. I am your 
son. You are my father. You are now my prisoner, and subject to the custom 

S3 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

of Indian warfare ; but you shall not be harmed. You need not fear. I am 
a warrior. Many are the scalps which I have taken. Many prisoners have I 
tortured to death. I am your son. I was anxious to see you and greet you in 
friendship. I went to your cabin and took you by force; but your life shall 
be spared. Indians love their friends and their kindred, and treat them with 
kindness. If you now choose to follow the fortunes of your yellow son and to 
live with our people, I will cherish your old age with plenty of venison, and 
you shall live easy. But if it is your choice to return to your fields and live 
with your white children, I will send a party of trusty young men to conduct 
you back in safety. I respect you, my father. You have been friendly to 
Indians, and they are your friends.' The elder O'Bail preferred his white 
children and green fields to his yellow offspring and the wild woods, and chose 
to return. 

" Cornplanter was the greatest warrior the Senecas, the untamable people 
of the hills, ever had, and it was his wish that when he died his grave would 
remain unmarked, but the Legislature of Pennsylvania willed otherwise, and 
erected a monument to him with this beautiful inscription : 

" ' Gy-ant-wa-chia, The Cornplanter, 

John O'Bail, Alias Cornplanter, 

DIED 

At Cornplanter Town, Feb. i8, A.D. 1836, 

Aged about 100 years.' 

" Upon the west side is the following inscription : 

" ' Chief of the Seneca tribe, and a principal chief of the Six Nations from the 
period of the Revolutionary War to the time of his death. Distinguished for talent, 
courage, eloquence, sobriety, and love for tribe and race, to whose welfare he devoted 
his time, his energy, and his means during a long and eventful life.' " 




CHAPTER IV 



THE PURCHASE OF 1 784 AT FORT STANWIX (NOW ROME), NEW YOliK 

I REPRODUCE from McKnight's " Pioneer History of Jefferson County" 
the following: 

" At the close of the war of the Revolution, in the year 1783, the owner- 
ship of a large area of the territory within the charter boundaries of Pennsylva- 
nia was still claimed by the Indians of the several tribes that were commonly 
known as the Six Nations. The last purchase of lands from the Six Nations 
by the proprietary government of the province was made at Fort Stanwix in 
November, 1768, and the limit of this purchase may be described as extending 
to lines beginning where the northeast branch of the Susquehanna River 
crosses the northern line of the State, in the present county of Bradford; 
thence down the river to the mouth of Towanda Creek, and up the same to 
its head-waters ; thence by a range of hills to the head-waters of Pine Creek, 
and down the same to the west branch of the Susquehanna ; thence up the 
same to Cherry Tree; thence by a straight line, across the present counties 
of Indiana and Armstrong, to Kittanning,* on the Allegheny River, and thence 
down the Allegheny and Ohio Rivers to the western boundary line of the 
province. The Indian claim, therefore, embraced all that part of the State 
lying to the northwest of the purchase lines of 1768, as they are here de- 
scribed. With the close of the Revolutionary struggle, the authorities of the 
new Commonwealth, anxiously looking to its future stability and prosperity, 
soon found themselves confronted with duties and responsibilities different 
in many respects from those that had engaged their serious attention and 
earnest effort during the previous seven years of war. They were to enact 
just and equitable laws for. the government of a new State, and to devise 

* " Canoe Place," so-called in the old maps of the State to designate the head of 
navigation on the west branch of the Susquehanna River, is the point at which the pur- 
chase line of 1768 from that river to Kittanning, on the Allegheny River, begins. A 
survey of that line was made by Robert Galbraith in the year 1786, and a cherry-tree 
standing on the west bank of the river was marked by him as the beginning of his sur- 
vey. The same cherry-tree was marked by William " P. Bra4r-as- the ■ southeast cor- 
ner of a tract surveyed by him " at Canoe Place," in 1794, on warrant No. 3744, in the 
name of John Nicolson, Esq. The town of Cherry Tree now covers part of this 
ground. The old tree disappeared years ago. Its site, however, was regarded as of 
some historic importance, and under an appropriation of fifteen hundred dollars, granted 
by the Legislature in 1893, a substantial granite monument has been erected to mark the 

spot where it stood. 

35 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

such measures as would stimulate its growth in wealth and population and 
promote the development, settlement, and improvement of its great domain. 
" As early as the 12th of March, 1783, the General Assembly had passed 
an act setting apart certain lands lying north and west of the Ohio and Alle- 
gheny Rivers and Conewango Creek to be sold for the purpose of redeeming 
the depreciation certificates given to the officers and soldiers of the Penn- 
sylvania Line who had served in the war of the Revolution, and also for the 
purpose of making donations of land to the same officers and soldiers in 
compliance with a promise made to them by a resolution passed in 1780. It 
will be observed that when this act was passed the Indian claim of title to the 
lands mentioned was still in force; but the State authorities, though seem- 
ingly slow and deliberate in their actions, were no doubt fully alive to the 
necessity of securing as speedily as possible the right to all the lands within 
the State — ^about five-sixteenths of its area — that remained unpurchased after 
the treaty at Fort Stanwix in 1768. With that purpose in view, the first 
movement made by the General Assembly to be found on record was on the 
25th day of September, 1783. This action is in the form of a resolution passed 
on that day by the recommendation of the report of a committee that had been 
previously appointed ' to digest such plans as they might conceive necessary 
to facilitate and expedite the laying off and surveying of the lands' set apart 
by the act of the previous March. The resolution reads, — 

" ' Resolved, unanimously, That the supreme executive council be, and 
they are hereby authorized and empowered to appoint commissioners to hold 
a meeting with the Indians claiming the unpurchased territory within the 
acknowledged limits of the State, for the purpose of purchasing the same, 
agreeable to ancient usage, and that all the expenses accruing from the said 
meeting and purchase be defrayed out of the Treasury of the State.' — Penn- 
sylvania Archives, vol. x. p. iii. 

" It next appears by a minute of the Supreme Executive Council, of Feb- 
ruary 23, 1784, that Samuel John Atlee, William Maclay, and Francis John- 
ston were on that day chosen commissioners to treat with the Indians as 
proposed in the resolution of the General Assembly. The gentlemen named — 
all of them prominent citizens — were informed on the 29th of the same month 
of their appointment, but they did not acknowledge the receipt of President 
Dickinson's letter until the 17th of May following. On that day Messrs. Atlee 
and Johnston reply in a letter of thanks for the honor conferred upon them, 
and explain the delay as having been caused by circumstances that required 
Mr. Maclay and Colonel Atlee to visit their families, the first named still 
remaining absent. The letter also contains a statement of their views upon 
various matters pertaining to the mission upon which they are about to enter. 
They suggest Samuel Weiser, a son of Conrad Weiser, the noted Indian mis- 
sionary, ^s a proper person to notify the Indians of the desire to treat with 
them, and, from his familiarity with their language and customs, to act as 

56 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

interpreter. The time and place for holding the treaty are mentioned, but 
nothing definite suggested, owing to the fact that the Continental Congress 
had likewise appointed commissioners to meet the Six Nations for the purpose 
of treating with them in relation to the lands of the Northwest, beyond the 
limits of Pennsylvania, and it was deemed proper to permit the representatives 
of Congress to arrange for the meeting.* Fort Stanwix, in the State of New 
York, was finally agreed upon as the place where the meeting should be held, 
and thither the commissioners on the part of Pennsylvania were directed to 
proceed. On the 2Sth of August, 1784, a committee of the General Assembly, 
having Indian affairs under consideration, made the following report : 

" ' That weighty reasons have occurred in favor of the design for hold- 
ing a conference with the Indians on the part of this State, and if under the 
present situation of Continental affairs that measure can be conducted on sure 
ground and without too unlimited an expense, it ought to take place and be 
rendered as effective as this House can make it, under whose auspices a foun- 
dation would thus be laid of essential and durable advantage to the public, by 
extending population, satisfying our officers and soldiers in regard to their 
donation lands and depreciation certificates, restoring that ancient, friendly, 
and profitable intercourse with the Indians, and guarding against all occasions 
of war with them.' — Pennsylvania Archives, vol. x. p. 316. 

" To aid the commissioners in their efforts to attain objects so worthy and 
laudable, the above report was accompanied by a resolution that authorized 
the Supreme Executive Council to expend nine thousand dollars in the pur- 
chase of ' such goods, merchandise, and trinkets' as would be acceptable to the 
Indians, to be given them as part of the consideration in the event of a pur- 
chase being made. In pursuance of this resolution the council promptly 
ordered a warrant to be issued by the treasurer in favor of the commissioners 
for the sum of £3375 (equivalent in Pennsylvania currency to nine thousand 
one hundred dollars), to be expended by them in purchasing the necessary 
articles, f 

" After a tedious and fatiguing journey, in which they met with a number 
of unexpected delays, the commissioners reached Fort Stanwix early in the 
month of October, where they found some of the tribes already assembled, 
and with them the commissioners of the Continental Congress. In a letter 
to President Dickinson, dated October 4, 1784, they announce their arrival, 
and state that the negotiations had already commenced, and while they would 
not venture an opinion as to the final issue, they say the disposition of the 
Indians appeared to be favorable. The negotiations continued until the 23d of 

* Pennsylvania Archives, vol. x. p. 265. 

t For a list of the articles designated in the order see Colonial Records, vol. xiv. 
p. 186. After the negotiations at Fort Stanwix had been concluded the commissioners 
gave an obligation for an additional thousand dollars in goods, to be delivered at 
Tioga. For this list see Pennsylvania Archives, vol. x. p. 496. 

57 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

the same month, and on that day ended in an agreement by which. thp. Indian 
title to all the lands within the boundaries of the State that remained: after 
the treaty of 1768 was extinguished. The Indians represented jat/th^ con- 
ference were the Mohawks, the Oneidas, the Onondagas, the Senecas, the 
Cayugas, and the Tuscaroras. The consideration fixed for the surrender of 
their rights was five thousand dollars. The deed is dated October 23, 1784, 
is signed by all the chiefs of the Six Nations and by the Continental commis- 
sioners as witnesses. The boundaries of the territory ceded are thus de- 
scribed : ' Beginning on the south side of the river Ohio, where the western 
boundary of the State of Pennsylvania crosses the said river, near Shingo's 
old town, at the mouth of Beaver Creek, and thence by a due north line to 
the end of the forty-second and the beginning of the forty-third degrees of 
north latitude, thence by a due east line separating the forty-second and the 
forty-third degree of north latitude, to the east side of the east branch of the 
Susquehanna River, thence by the bounds of the late purchase made at Fort 
Stanwix, the fifth day of November, Anno Domini one thousand seven hun- 
dred and sixty-eight, as follows : Down the said east branch of Susquehanna, 
on the east side thereof, till it comes opposite to the mouth of a creek called 
by the Indians Awandac, and across the river, and up the said creek on the 
south side thereof, all along the range of hills called Burnet's Hills by the 

English and by the Indians , on the north side of them, to the head of a 

creek which runs into the west branch of Susquehanna, which creek is by the 
Indians called Tyadaghton, but by the Pennsylvanians Pine Creek, and down 
the said creek on the south side thereof to the said west branch of Susque- 
hanna, thence crossing the said river, and running up the south side thereof, 
the several courses thereof to the forks of the same river, which lies nearest 
to a place on the river Ohio called Kittanning, and from the fork by a straight 
line to Kittanning aforesaid, and thence down the said river Ohio by the 
several courses thereof to where said State of Pennsylvania crosses the same 
river at the place of beginning.' After the commissioners had accomplished 
in so satisfactory a manner the object for which they had journeyed to Fort 
Stanwix, it became necessary to appease the Western Indians, the Wyandots 
and the Delawares, who also claimed rights in the same lands. The same 
commissioners were therefore sent to Fort Mcintosh, on the Ohio River, at the 
site of the present town of Beaver, where, in January, 1785, they were suc- 
cessful in reaching an agreement with those Indians for the same lands. This 
deed, signed by the chiefs of both tribes, is dated January 21, 1785, and is in 
the same words (except as to the consideration money, which is two thousand 
dollars) and recites the same boundaries as the deed signed at Fort Stanwix 
in the previous month of October.* 



* The conference of the commissioners at Fort Stanwix and Fort Mcintosh with 
the deeds signed at those places are published in the Appendix to the General Assembly 
for the session of February to April, 1785. 

58 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" After the purchase of 1768 a disagreement arose between the proprie- 
tary government and the Indians as to whether the creek flowing into the west 
branch of the river Susquehanna, and called in the deed ' Tyadaghton,' was 
intended for Lycoming Creek or Pine Creek. The Indians said it was the 
former, and that the purchase only extended that far ; the proprietaries claimed 
the latter stream to be the. extent of the purchase, but, in order to avoid any 
trouble that might arise from the dispute, it was wisely determined that no 
rights should be granted for lands west of Lycoming Creek. This deter- 
mination, however, did not deter or prevent adventurous pioneers from enter- 
ing upon and making settlements within the disputed territory, and from 
their persistency in so doing arose an interesting, not to say serious, condition 
of affairs, to which reference will again be made. The commissioners at Fort 
Stanwix were instructed to ascertain definitely from the Indians which of the 
two streams they meant by ' Tyadaghton.' They then admitted that it was 
Pine Creek, being the largest emptying into the west branch of the Sus- 
quehanna. 

" The Indian claim of right to the soil of Pennsylvania, within its charter 
limits, had thus, in a period of a little more than one hundred years, ceased 
to exist. A glance at a map of the State will show that within the magnificent 
domain that comprises the purchase of 1784 are to be found at the present 
day the counties of Tioga, Potter, McKean, Warren, Crawford, Venango, 
Forest, Clarion, Elk, Jefferson, Cameron, Butler, Lawrence, and Mercer, and 
parts of the counties of Bradford, Clinton, Clearfield, Indiana, Armstrong, 
Allegheny, Beaver, and Erie.* This large and important division of our 
great Commonwealth, now teeming with population and wealth, the abiding- 
place of a noble civilization, and containing within its boundaries thousands 
upon thousands of homes of comfort and many of elegance and luxury, fertile 
valleys to reward the labor of the husbandman, thriving villages, busy towns, 
and growing, bustling cities, was, in 1784, largely an uninhabited and untrav- 
ersed wilderness. 

" LANDS EAST OF THE ALLEGHENY RIVER AND CONEWANGO CREEK 

" The General Assembly of the State did not delay in enacting laws which 
would open to settlers and purchasers that part of the late acquisition that had 
not been otherwise appropriated. As a matter of fact, in anticipation of the 
purchase, an act was passed on the ist day of April, 1784, in which it was 
provided that as soon as the Indians were ' satisfied for the unpurchased 
lands,' the supreme executive council should give official information thereof 
to the surveyor-general, who was then to appoint district surveyors to survey 
all such lands within the purchase as should ' be found fit for cultivation.' 
The tracts were to contain not more than five hundred nor less than two 

* See accompanying map, whicH shows the extent of the purchase. 

61 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

hundred acres each, and were to be numbered on a general draft of each dis- 
trict. When a certain number of lots were surveyed, they were to be sold at 
public auction, the purchaser having the privilege of paying one moiety at the 
time of purchase and receiving a credit of two years for the other moiety. 
The mode of disposing of the lands thus indicated was soon changed by sub- 
sequent legislation. By an act passed December 21, 1784, to amend the act 
of April I, the provisions of the law for sales by public auction and the giving 
of credit were repealed. Section 6 of the act provided that the land-ofifice 
should be open on the 1st day of May, 1785, to receive applications for lands 
at the rate of £30 * for every hundred acres of the same, and that the survey 
of an application should not contain more than one thousand acres, with the 
usual allowance of six per centum for highways. This act was intended to 
apply to all lands within the purchase, except the lands north and west of the 
Ohio and Allegheny Rivers and Conewango Creek (which, as already men- 
tioned, had been appropriated for the redemption of depreciation certificates 
and for the donations of land to the soldiers of the Pennsylvania Line) and 
the disputed territory between Lycoming and Pine Creeks. By Section 7, a 
warrant issued in pursuance of the act was not descriptive, and was not 
confined to any particular place, but could be located on any vacant land, not 
within the excepted districts, that the applicant might select. Sections 8, 9, 
and 10 of the act provide for the persons who occupied lands between Ly- 
coming and Pine Creek, in violation of the proprietary mandate. The situa- 
tion of these settlers was peculiar. When the disagreement in regard to the 
purchase lines of the purchase of 1768 occurred, the proprietaries, always 
extremely anxious to avoid giving offence to the Indians, decided to withhold 
the territory between the two streams from sale and settlement until the 
differences could be properly adjusted by mutual agreement. Though many 
applications for land west of Lycoming Creek were on file, surveys would 
not be accepted, and at the same time stringent orders were issued protesting 
against persons making settlement beyond that stream, and warning those 
already there to depart. In defiance of warnings, protests, and proclamations, 
however, many sturdy, self-reliant men persisted in occupying the forbidderi 
ground, where they found themselves beyond the bounds of lawful authority, 
and could not expect to receive encouragement or protection from the pro- 
prietary government. But with the energy and courage common to pioneer 
settlers they at once began the work of subduing the wilderness and building 
homes for their families, and from accounts that have come down to us the 
little community, if it did not live in luxury, was at least able to earn a sub- 
sistence that was not meagre in quantity, whatever may have been its quality 
Being without law or government, the members of the community were com- 
pelled by the necessities of their situation and surroundings to adopt a system 



* In Pennsylvania currency this was at the rate of eighty cents an acre 

62 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

of government of their own, the details of which are not fully known. All, 
however, were under solemn obligations to support and defend their agreement 
for mutual support and protection. They called themselves Fair-Play Men, 
and it is known that annually they elected three of their number to constitute 
a court, which held stated meetings to dispense justice. To this tribunal all 
disputes and controversies were referred for settlement, and from its decisions 
there was no appeal. A stranger coming among them was obliged to appear 
before the court and promise under oath to submit to the laws of the com- 
munity. If he did this, he could remain, take possession of unoccupied land, 
and receive assistance in building his cabin. If he would not take the obliga- 
tion, he was quickly notified to absent himself without delay, which he usually 
did, without awaiting the call of a committee, whose methods of expulsion 
might be none too gentle. Many of these brave frontiersmen served in the 
army during the Revolutionary War, and Section 8 of the act recited that by 
reason of their services as soldiers, they merited the ' pre-emption of their 
respective plantations.' Sections 9 and 10 of the same act allowed a pre- 
emption to all settlers and their legal representatives who had settled on the 
lands between the two streams prior to the year 1780, limiting each claim to 
three hundred acres, providing that the application should be made and the 
consideration paid on or before November i, 1785. It will be remembered that 
the time fixed by the act of December 21, 1784, for the land-office to be opened 
to receive applications was May i, 1785. Before that day arrived, however, 
the Legislature passed another act, which, in many respects, changed the policy 
previously pursued in disposing of unappropriated lands. This act became a 
law on the 8th day of April, 1785, and with it came the practice, as provided 
in the act, of numbering all warrants for land in the last purchase to the east 
of the Allegheny River and Conewango Creek, a change in practice that has 
always been regarded as a valuable improvement on the old system. The act 
is entitled ' An act to provide further regulations, whereby to secure fair and 
equal proceedings in the land-office, and the surveying of lands.' It was 
believed that when the office was opened on the day fixed by the law, numerous 
applications would be made at the same time, and that preference would 
necessarily be given to some persons to the disadvantage of others, and thereby 
cause dissatisfaction. In order to prevent any one from profiting by such 
preference, it was enacted in Section 2 of the act that the priority of all 
warrants to be granted on applications received during the first ten days after 
the opening of the office should be determined by a lottery to be drawn under 
the supervision of the Secretary of the Land-Office. Not more than one 
thousand acres were to be included in one application, and the warrants were 
to be numbered ' according to the decision of the lottery.' For conducting the 
lottery the section contains minute directions. All applications made after the 
expiration of ten days were to have priority according to the order in which 
thev came into the hands of the Secretary, and were to be numbered accord- 

65 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

ingly. The other sections of the act relate mainly to the duties of the surveyor- 
general and the deputy-surveyors to be by him appointed, and the way in 
which surveys were to be made and returned. It also prescribes the fees to be 
received by the officers of the land-office and the deputy-surveyors, and 
attaches the territory east of the Allegheny River and Conewango Creek to 
Northumberland County, a part of which county it remained until Lycoming 
County was formed in 1795, when it became part of that county. The remain- 
ing portion of the purchase was attached to Westmoreland County, and so 
continued until Allegheny was formed in 1788, when it was included in the 
boundary of that county. The applications received during the first ten days 
from the opening of the office were listed and numbered, placed in the lottery- 
wheel, and drawn therefrom in the manner provided by the second section 
of the act. They numbered five hundred and sixty-four, and warrants for 
that number of tracts were issued, and received a number that corresponded 
with the number drawn from the wheel. These warrants were called ' North- 
umberland County Lottery Warrants/ and under that designation are yet 
carried on the warrant registers of the office. They could be, and were, 
located in such localities within the purchase east of the Allegheny River as 
the owners might select, except on a reservation of one thousand acres at 
the forks of Sinnemahoning Creek, for which General James Potter held a 
pre-emption. 

" The surveyor-general had authority to appoint deputy-surveyors, and to 
fix the number, extent, and boundaries of the districts to which they were to 
be assigned. The territory was divided into eighteen districts, and a deputy- 
surveyor appointed for each. These districts were numbered consecutively, 
beginning with No. i on the Allegheny River, and running eastward to No. 
18, which extended to the north branch of the Susquehanna in the northeast 
corner of the purchase. This arrangement of the districts continued until 
after the year 1790, when a change was made by the surveyor-general. The 
number of districts was then reduced to six, and were numbered westward 
from district No. i, beginning at the mouth of Lycoming Creek. In the new 
arrangement John Adlum was appointed deputy-surveyor for district No. 1, 
John Broadhead for No. 2, John Canan for No. 3, James Hunter for No. 4, 
William P. Brady for No. 5, and Enion Williams for No. 6, on the Allegheny 
River. In 1793 John Adlum, whose surveys were principally along the north- 
ern line of the State, was succeeded by William Ellis, and Enion Williams by 
John Broadhead. After the drawing of the lottery warrants the business of 
the land-office does not appear to have been very pressing. It would seem that 
at the price fixed by the act of December, 1784— £30 per hundred, or eighty 
cents an acre — ^purchasers were not numerous. The records show that from 
the time of the drawing and issuing of the lottery warrants in May, 1785, 
down to the year 1792, not more than four hundred warrants were granted 
for these lands, and among these warrants were many to religious and educa- 

64 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

tional institutions issued under various acts of endowment. There were 
thirty-two to Dickinson College,— twenty-eight of three hundred acres each, 
and four of four hundred acres each, making in all seven thousand acres ; the 
Episcopal Academy had thirty-three warrants,— thirty-two of three hundred 
acres each, and one of four hundred acres, making ten thousand acres; the 
Lutheran congregation, of Philadelphia, ten warrants of five hundred acres 
each, making five thousand acres ; the Pittsburg Academy, ten warrants of five 
hundred acres each, making five thousand acres ; the Washington Academy, 
ten warrants of five hundred acres each, making five thousand acres; the 
Reading Academy, seven warrants, — ^three of one thousand acres each and 
four of five hundred acres each, making five thousand acres; and Franklin 
College thirty-three warrants of three hundred acres each, and one of one 
hundred acres, making ten thousand acres, — making in the aggregate one 
hundred and twelve warrants for fifty-two thousand acres of land. 

" It had now become apparent to the authorities that the price of land 
was too high to induce investments of money in them, and that the Geiieral 
Assembly must fix a lower rate to promote sales. Benjamin Franklin, the 
president of the Supreme Executive Council, under date of February 23, 

1787, addressed a letter to that body in which he says, ' We are convinced that 
it will be of advantage to the State to lower the price of land within the late 
Indian purchase; only eight warrants have been taken out for lands these 
six months passed.' * The Legislature accordingly passed an act, October 3, 

1788, to reduce the price from the rate of £30 per hundred acres to £20. This 
rate was to be charged after March i, 1789, and was a reduction from the old 
rate of eighty cents an acre to fifty-three and one-third cents an acre. This 
rate continued until April 3, 1792; but, contrary to expectations, did not have 
the effect of increasing sales, and, therefore, brought little or no change in 
the business of the office. By another act, passed April 3, 1792, the price was 
again reduced. The rate fixed by this act was £5, or $13.33^, for each hun- 
dred acres, and at this rate sales almost astonishing in extent were made, and 
the years 1792-93-94 proved to be noted and important years for disposing of 
unapDTopriated lands. The low price at which lands could now be bought, 
and the alluring prospect of a large increase in their value, undoubtedly 
induced many large purchasers to enter their applications. The applications 
received at the land-office were for a large number of tracts, and in the course 
of the years named more than five thousand warrants of nine hundred and 
one thousand acres each, covering almost five million acres, were granted for 
lands north and west of the purchase line of 1768, and east of the Allegheny 
River. These were all numbered in consecutive order, as required by the act 
of April, 1785, and were sent to the deputy-surveyors of the six districts to be 
executed. They were issued in the names of a comparatively small number 



* Colonial Records, vol. xv. p. 167. 
6S 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

of persons, but the holdings, as a rule, were very large. While it would be 
tedious to give the names of all the holders of these warrants, generally called 
' late purchase warrants,' it may not prove uninteresting to mention a few of 
those whose purchases were more than usually large, if only to show that a 
spirit of speculation may have existed in those days, even as it does at the 
present time. The first to be mentioned will be the warrants issued in the 
names of Wilhelm Willink, Nicholas Van Staphorst, Christian Van Eeghan, 
Pieter Stadnitski, Hendrick Vollenhoven, and Ruter Jan Schimmelpenninck. 
These gentlemen were merchants of the city of Amsterdam, Holland. In the 
land history of Pennsylvania they are known as the ' Holland Land Company,' 
and through agents they invested a large amount of money in land in the 
purchase of 1784. The warrant registers show that in the three years, 1792- 
93-94, they paid for and received eleven hundred and five warrants of nine 
hundred acres each, aggregating nine hundred and ninety-five thousand four 
hundred acres of land lying east of the Allegheny River. These warrants 
were divided among the deputy-surveyors of the six districts. James Wilson 
was another large owner of warrants, the number held by him being five hun- 
dred and ten, of nine hundred acres each, making four hundred and fifty-one 
thousand acres. Herman Le Roy and Jan Lincklean, A. Z., also of Amster- 
dam, three hundred and three warrants of nine hundi^ed acres each, making 
two hundred and seventy-two thousand seven hundred acres. John Nicholson, 
three hundred warrants of one thousand acres each, making three hundred 
thousand acres. Thomas M. Willing, three hundred and eleven warrants of 
one thousand acres each, making three hundred and eleven thousand acres. 
George Meade, three hundred and six warrants of one thousand acres each, 
making three hundred and six thousand acres. Robert Gilmore, two hundred 
warrants of one thousand acres each, making two hundred thousand acres. 
Samuel Wallis, one hundred warrants of one thousand acres each, making one 
hundred thousand acres. William Bingham, one hundred and twenty-five 
warrants of one thousand acres each, making one hundred and twenty-five 
thousand acres. Robert Morris, one hundred and eighty-five warrants, one 
hundred and forty-one of one thousand acres each, and forty-four of five hun- 
dred acres each, making one hundred and sixty-three thousand acres. The 
magnitude of the purchases made by a few individuals is here clearly indi- 
cated. There were, however, other large purchasers, such as Robert Black- 
well, John Olden, Charles Willing, Philip Nicklin and Robert Griffith, James 
Strawbridge, Jeremiah Parker, and others whose names we are obliged to 
omit. The surveys generally were carefully and correctly made, and, consid- 
ering the extent of territory covered by them, and the large interests involved, 
no great amount of litigation from conflicting locations afterwards grew out 
of defective or careless work by the surveyor, as was too often the case with 
surveys made in other sections of the State. In 1817 the price of the lands 
was again changed to twenty-six and two-thirds cents an acre, to correspond 

66 




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J 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

with the price in the older purchases. At the same time warrants were made 
descriptive, and have since been carried in the warrant registers by counties. 
The surveys made on the numbered warrants did not appropriate all the land 
within the limits to which they were restricted, and since then many warirants 
have been granted in all the counties erected from the territory that in 1785 
was made to form a part of the county of Northumberland. 

" LANDS NORTH AND EAST OF THE OHIO AND ALLEGHENY RIVERS AND CONE- 

WANGO CREEK 

" After the surveys of the tracts to be sold for the redemption of depre- 
ciation certificates and the donation lots to be given to the soldiers of -the 
Pennsylvania Line had been made, there remained in this part of the purchase 
a large surplus of lands to be otherwise appropriated. The Legislature, on 
the 3d of April, 1792, passed an act for the sale of these lands, entitled ' An 
act for the sale of vacant lands within this Commonwealth.' This act differs 
from all previous laws for disposing of the public lands, by providing that 
they should only be offered for sale to such persons as would ' cultivate, 
improve, and settle the same, or cause the same to be cultivated, improved, 
and settled.' The price fixed was iy 10s. in Pennsylvania currency, for every 
hundred acres, or in other words, twerity cents an acre, and the warrants were 
limited to four hundred acres each. The surveyor-general was authorized to 
divide the territory offered for sale into proper and convenient districts and 
appoint deputy-surveyors, who were to give the customary bond for the faith- 
ful performance of their duties. They were to execute warrants according to 
their priority, but ' not to survey any tract actually settled and improved prior 
to the date of the entry of such warrant with the deputy, except to the owner 
of such settlement and improvement.' The territory was divided into eleven 
districts, and a deputy-surveyor appointed for each; Thomas Reese for dis- 
trict No. I, William Powers for No. 2, Benjamin Stokely for No. 3, Thomas 
Stokely for No. 4, John Moore for No. 5, Samuel Nicholson for No. 6, John 
McCool for No. 7, Stephen Gapen for No. 8, Jonathan and Daniel Leet for 
Nos. 9 and 10, John Hoge for No. 11. 

" By Section 8 of the act, on application being made to the deputy- 
surveyor of the proper district by any person who had made an actual settle- 
ment and improvement, that officer, on being paid the legal fees, was required 
to survey the lines of the tract, not exceeding four hundred acres, to which 
such person may have become entitled by virtue of his settlement. Many such 
surveys were returned to the land-office and constituted pre-emptions to per- 
sons for whom they were made. Some of the tracts thus returned still remain 
unpaid, as a glance at the land lien docket of the land-ofi&ce will show. By 
Section 9, no warrant or survey made in pursuance of the act was to vest 
title to the lands unless the grantee had, ' prior to the date of such warrant 
made, or caused to be made, or should within the space of two years next after 

69 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

the date of the same, make, or cause to be made, an actual settlement thereon, 
by clearing, fencing, and cultivating at least two acres for every hundred 
acres contained in one survey, erecting thereon a messuage for the habitation 
of man, and residing or causing a family to reside thereon, for the space of 
five years next following his first settling of the same, if he or she shall so 
long live.' In default of such actual settlement and residence the right was 
forfeited, and new warrants, reciting the original warrants and the lack of 
compliance with the requirements of the act, could be granted to other actual 
settlers. It was provided, however, ' that if any actual settler or any grantee 
in any such original or succeeding warrant, shall by force of arms of the 
enemies of the United States, be prevented from making such actual settle- 
ment, or be driven therefrom and shall persist in his endeavors to make such 
actual settlement as aforesaid, then, in either case, he and his heirs shall be 
entitled to have and to hold the said lands in the same manner as if the actual 
settlement had been made and continued.' Under the provisions of this act 
many surveys, as already stated, were returned for actual settlers, and many 
warrants were taken out immediately after its passage. The warrants were 
for four hundred acres each, and immense numbers of them in fictitious names, 
in which great families of Inks, Pims, etc., appear, were taken out by a few 
individuals. For instance, the Holland Land Company, previously mentioned, 
again appears in the territory west of the Allegheny. That company alone 
took out eleven hundred and sixty-two warrants representing four hundred 
and sixty-four thousand eight hundred acres of land, and making the entire 
purchases of the company from the State amount to more than one million five 
hundred thousand acres. John Nicholson was another purchaser who held a 
large number of these warrants. To the ' Pennsylvania Population Company' 
he assigned one hundred thousand acres lying principally in the present 
County of Erie, and proposed to assign two hundred and fifty thousand acres 
lying along Beaver Creek and the western line of the State to another of his 
land schemes called the ' North American Land Company.' The warrants all 
contained the actual settlement clause, but not any of the large owners of war- 
rants made the slightest pretence of complying with it. Owing to the disturbed 
condition of the western border at the time it was impossible to do so. A state 
of war existed with the western Indians. The United States forces had met 
with serious reverses in the defeat of Harmer and St. Clair in 1791, and it 
was not until after Wayne's treaty, in December, 1795, gave peace and safetj- 
to the borders that settlers with their families could enter upon those lands 
free from the fear and danger of Indian incursions. 

" But with the settling of the Indian disorders and the return of peace, 
there soon came other troubles, with expensive and vexatious litigation, to 
annoy and harass settlers and warrantees by the uncertainty that was cast 
upon their titles. This uncertainty grew out of differences of opinion in re- 
lation to the construction the two years' clause of the law requiring actual 

70 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

settlement, after the termination of the Indian hostilities that had prevented 
such settlement from being made, should receive. The opposite views held 
by those interested in titles are clearly stated in Sergeant's ' Land Laws,' page 
98 : 'On one side it was contended that the conditions of actual settlement 
and residence, required by the act, was dispensed with, on account of the 
prevention for two years after the date of the warrant * by Indian hostilities ; 
and that the warrant-holder was not bound to do anything further, but was 
entitled to a patent. On the other side it was insisted that the right under 
the warrant was forfeited, at the expiration of two years, without a settlement, 
and that actual settlers might then enter on such tracts and hold them by 
making a settlement. On this and other constructions, numbers of persons 
entered on the lands of warrantees and claimed to hold under the act, as 
settlers, after a forfeiture.' The authorities of the State at the time — 1796 
to 1800 — held to the first opinion, and by the advice of Attorney-General 
Ingersoll, the Board of Property devised what was called a ' prevention 
certifieate,' which set forth the fact of the inability of the warrantee or settler 
to make the required settlement. This certificate was to be signed by two 
justices, and on its presentation, properly signed, the land officers freely 
granted a patent for the land described. Under prevention certificates of this 
kind many patents were granted. The Holland Land Company received more 
than one thousand, and John Field, William Crammond, and James Gibson, 
in trust for the use of the Pennsylvania Population Company, more than eight 
hundred. These patents all contained a recital of the prevention certificate, 
as follows : 'And also in consideration of it having been made to appear to 
the Board of Property that the said (name of warrantee) was by force of 
arms of the enemies of the United States prevented from making settlement 
as is required by the ninth section (act of April 3, 1792), and the assignees 
of the said (warrantee) had persisted in their endeavors to make such settle- 
ment,' etc. With a change of administration in October, 1799, there followed 
a change of policy. The new authorities did not regard the policy and pro- 
ceedings of the former Board of Property binding, and the further issuing 
of patents on prevention certificates was refused. In the mean time, the 
contentions between the owners of warrants and settlers were carried into 
the courts, where a like difference of opinion in regard to the rights of the 
contending parties under the act of 1792 soon manifested itself, the judges 
disagreeing as widely in their construction of the ninth section as the parties 
in interest. It was only after years of exciting and troublesome litigation, 
and the enactment of a number of laws by the Legislature of the State to 
facilitate an adjustment of the contentions, that titles became settled and 
owners felt secure in their possessions. It may be said that while the judges 
of the courts often differed in their opinions on the points at issue, the litiga- 



* Nearly all of these warrants were granted in 1792-93. 
71 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

tion ended generally in favor of the holders of the warrants. The Holland 
Land Company, being composed of foreigners, could appeal to the courts of 
the United States. In one case carried to the Supreme Court, the company 
was actually absolved from making the settlement prescribed by the ninth 
section, Chief Justice Marshall holding that a warrant for a tract of land 
under the Act of 1792 ' to a person who, by force of arms of the enemies of 
the United States, was prevented from settling and improving the said land, 
and from residing thereon from the date of the warrant until the ist of 
January, 1796, but who, during the said period, persisted in his endeavors to 
make such settlement and residence, vests in such grantee a fee-simple in said 
land.' * That the uncertainty in regard to land titles during these years did 
much to retard the growth and prosperity of this northwestern section of the 
State cannot be doubted ; but, under the influence of better conditions, brought 
about by the adjustment of land rights and the allaying of local strife, it after- 
wards made marvellous strides forward in the march of progress and im- 
provement. 

" The dispositions made of the unsold depreciation and the undrawn 
donation lots in this part of the purchase were fully treated of in former 
papers, and, therefore, need no further notice. It may not, however, be amiss 
to say a word in relation to the purchase of the Erie triangle, an acquisition 
that was of vast importance to Pennsylvania by reason of the outlet of Lake 
Erie. The triangle was claimed by the States of New York and Massachu- 
setts, but was ceded by both States, in the years 1781 and 1785, to the United 
States. The Pennsylvania authorities, anticipating its possession, had, through 
a treaty made at Fort Mcintosh by General St. Clair, Colonel Harmer, and 
others, secured a deed from the Indians by which their claim of title was 
extinguished. This deed, signed by the chiefs of the Six Nations, is dated 
January 9, 1789, and the consideration paid was two thousand dollars. It 
was then, by a deed dated March 3, 1792, ceded by the United States to 
Pennsylvania. This deed is signed by George Washington, President, 
and Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State. In 1790, Andrew EUicott made 
a survey of the triangle and found it to contain two hundred and two thou- 
sand two hundred and eighty-seven acres, and the purchase-money paid to 
the United States, at the rate of seventy-five cents an acre, amounted to 
$151,640.25. This purchase having been completed before the passage of 
the act of April 3, 1792, the lands within it, except the reservations, were 
sold under the provisions of that act. Before the completion of the purchase, 
John Nicholson had made application for the entire tract, and probably held 
a larger number of warrants for lands within its boundaries than any other 
individual. 



* Smith's Laws, vol. ii. p. 228. 
72 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" THE RESERVATIONS NORTH AND WEST OF THE OHIO AND ALLEGHENY RIVERS 

AND CONEWANGO CREEK 

■■ In the act of March 12, 1783, setting apart the depreciation lands, two 
reservations for the use of the State were made, — one of ' three thousand 
acres, in an oblong of not less than one mile in depth from the Allegheny and 
Ohio Rivers, and extending up and down the said rivers, from opposite Fort 
Pitt, so far as may be necessary to include the same ;' and the other ' three 
thousand acres on the Ohio, and on both sides of Beaver Creek, including Fort 
Mcintosh.' There was also reserved on Lake Erie for the use of the State 
the peninsula of Presque Isle, a tract extending eight miles along the shores 
of the lake and three miles in breadth, and another tract of two thousand acres 
on the lake at the mouth of Harbor Creek; and also tracts at the mouth of 
French Creek, at Fort Le Boeuf, and at the mouth of Conewango Creek. For 
the purpose of raising an additional sum by the sale of town lots to be used in 
paying the debts of the State, the President of the Supreme Executive Council 
was authorized by an act passed the nth day of September, 1787, to cause a 
town to be laid out on the reservation opposite Fort Pitt. The tract, except 
three hundred and twelve acres within its boundaries, was accordingly sur- 
veyed into town and out lots and sold at public auction. The regular lots of 
the town, as laid down in the survey, were in dimensions sixty by two hundred 
and forty feet, while the out lots contained from five to ten acres. The part 
containing three hundred and twelve acres, not included in the plan of the 
town, was patented to James O'Hara on the 5th day of May, 1789. This 
town has grown into the large and flourishing city of Allegheny. By another 
act, passed September 28, 1791, the governor was given power to authorize, 
the surveyor-general to cause a part of the reservation at the mouth of Beaver 
Creek to be laid out in town lots, ' on or near the ground where the old French 
town stood,' in such manner as commissioners, to be appointed by the governor, 
should direct. By this act two hundred acres were to be surveyed into town 
lots, and one thousand acres, adjoining on the upper side, into out lots to 
contain not less than five acres, nor more than ten acres. Daniel Leet, a 
deputy-surveyor, who had previously surveyed district No. 2, of the depre- 
ciation lands and one of the donation districts, was employed to lay out these 
town and out lots, and his survey of the town and out lots was confirmed by 
an act passed in March, 1793. The same act directed the governor to proceed 
to make sale of the lots and grant conveyances for them, in the manner pre- 
scribed by the act authorizing the laying out of the town. The town was 
called Beavertown, and when the county of Beaver was erected in 1800 was 
made the county seat. The act erecting the county appropriated five hundred 
acres of the reservation for the use of such school or academy as might there- 
after be established in the town. The town then called Beaver was incor- 
porated into a borough in 1802, and thfe boroughs of Rochester and Bridge- 
water, on opposite sides of the creek, also occupy parts of this reservation. 

73 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" The towns of Erie, Franklin, Waterford, and Warren were established 
by an act passed on the i8th day of April, 1795. Of the large reservation on 
Lake Erie, at Presque Isle, the governor was authorized to appoint two com- 
missioners to survey sixteen hundred acres for town lots and three thousand 
four hundred, adjoining thereto, for out lots, with such streets, alleys, lanes, 
and reservations for public uses as the commissioners should direct. The 
town lots were to contain not more than one-third of an acre,* the out lots not 
more than five acres, the reservations for public uses not to exceed twenty 
acres, and the town was to be called Erie. After the survey of the town, made 
by General William Irvine and Andrew Ellicott, was filed in the oiifice of the 
secretary of the Commonwealth, the governor was directed to sell at public 
auction one-third of the town lots and one-third of the out lots to the highest 
bidders, and grant patents to the purchasers upon the condition that within 
two years they respectively should ' build a house, at least sixteen feet square, 
and containing at least one brick or stone chimney,' on each lot purchased, the 
patent not to be issued until after the expiration of two years, and then only 
on proof that the condition of the sale had been complied with. In addition 
to the surveys of the town and out lots, the act provided that three lots — one 
of sixty acres on the southern side of the harbor, another of thirty on the 
peninsula, and a third of one hundred acres, also on the peninsula, — should 
be surveyed for the ' use of the United States in erecting and maintaining 
forts, magazines, and dock-yards thereon.' Of the tract at the mouth of 
French Creek, three hundred acres for town lots and seven hundred acres 
for out lots were to be surveyed for the town of Franklin ; and of the tract 
at the mouth of Conewango Creek, three hundred acres for town lots and 
seven hundred acres for out lots were to be surveyed for the town of Warren. 
At the time the act providing for the laying out of these towns became a law 
a settlement had been made at Fort Le Boeuf. Andrew Ellicott had surveyed 
and laid out a town, and his draft of the town was accepted and confirmed 
by the Legislature. It was provided, however, that in addition to the town 
lots of Ellicott's survey, five hundred acres should be surveyed for out lots, and 
that the town should be called Waterford. The size of the town and out lots 
for Franklin and Warren, the out lots for Waterford, and the provisions for 
streets, lanes, alleys, and reservations for public use, — the reservations reduced 
to ten acres, — were the same as for the town of Erie, as were also the regula- 
tions for the sale of the lots. At Waterford a number of settlers who had 
built houses were given a right of pre-emption to the lots on which they 
settled. A subsequent act passed April 11, 1799, provided that surveys should 
be made of the reserved tracts adjoining Erie, Franklin, Warren, and Water- 
ford, not laid out in town or out lots, into lots not to exceed one hundred and 



* The regular town lots of Erie as laid down in the map of the town are eighty- 
two feet six inches front and one hundred and sixty-five feet in, depth. 

74 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

fifty acres in each, to be sold by commissioners, one of whom was to reside 
in each town. The tracts were to be graded in quality, and no sale was to 
be made at less than four dollars an acre for land of the first quality, three 
dollars for the second quality, and two dollars for the third quality; and 
purchasers, before title could vest in them, were required within three years 
from the date of their purchases to make an actual settlement on the land ' by 
clearing, fencing, and cultivating at least two acres for every fifty contained 
in one survey, and erect on each lot or tract a messuage for the habitation 
of man and reside thereon for the space of five years followmg their first 
settlement of the same.' The same act required five hundred acres in each 
of the reserved tracts to be surveyed for the use of schools or academies, and 
provision was made for the appraisement of the residue of the town and out 
lots, and for their sale by the commissioner residing in the town. It was 
also provided in this act that the reserved lot in the town of Erie, at the mouth 
of Cascade Creek, was to be sold at public sale, on consideration of settlement 
and improvement, provided it brought fifty dollars an acre. By an act passed 
February 19, 1800, the clause of the act that required settlement and improve- 
ment of lots was repealed. The other reservation of two thousand acres in 
the Erie triangle, at the mouth of Harbor Creek, was donated by an act of 
the Legislature to General William Irvine to indemnify him for the loss of 
Montour's Island (now called Neville Island), in the Ohio River below the 
city of Pittsburg. General Irvine held the island under a Pennsylvania patent, 
but was divested of his title by a judgment of the Supreme Court of the United 
States in an ejectment suit brought against him by a party who claimed owner- 
ship under a Virginia right, which, under the agreement between Pennsylva- 
nia and Virginia for settling the southwestern boundary dispute, was held by 
the court to be good." 

INDIAN TREATIES AT FORTS STANWIX (rOME, N. Y. ) AND m'iNTOSH 

For a full history of the proceedings of the treaties held at Forts Stanwix 
and Mcintosh, between the commissioners of the Commonwealth of Penn- 
sylvania and the deputies of the Six Nations and the Wyandott and Delaware 
Indians, claiming the unpurchased territory within the acknowledged limits 
of the northwest of Pennsylvania, see McKnight's " Pioneer History of Jef- 
ferson County, Pennsylvania." 



■5vT 



CHAPTER V 



TITLES AND SURVEYS — PIONEER SURVEYS AND SURVEYORS ^DISTRICT LINES — 

LAWS, REFERENCES, AND REPORTS STREAMS AND HIGHWAYS ^DONATION 

LANDS 



" In 1670 Admiral Sir William Penn, an officer in the English navy, 
died. The government owed this officer sixteen hundred pounds, and William 
Penn, Jr., fell heir to this claim. King Charles II. liquidated this debt by 
granting to William Penn, Jr., 'a tract of land in America, lying north of 
Maryland and west of the Delaware River, extending as far west as plantable.' 
King Charles signed this deed March 4, 1671. William Penn, Jr., was then 
proprietor, with power to form a government. Penn named the grant Penn- 
sylvania, in honor of his father. In 1682 Penn published his form of govern- 
ment and laws. After making several treaties and visiting the Indians in the 
interior as far as Conestoga, Penn sailed for England, June 12, 1684, and 
remained away till December i, 1699. On his return he labored to introduce 
reforms in the provincial government, but failed. He negotiated a new treaty 
of peace with the Susquehanna Indians and also with the Five Nations. In 
the spring of 1701 he made a second journey into the interior, going as far 
as the Susquehanna and Swatara. Business complications having arisen, Penn 
sailed for England in the fall, and arrived there the middle of December, 1701. 
Owing to straitened financial circumstances, he entered into an agreement 
with Queen Anne, in 1712, to cede to her the province of Pennsylvania and 
the Lower Counties for the sum of twelve thousand pounds sterling; but 
before the legal papers were completed he was stricken with paralysis, and 
died July 30, 1718, aged seventy-four. While Penn accomplished much, he 
also suffered much. He was persecuted for his religion, imprisoned for debt, 
and tried for treason. After his death it was found that, owing to the com- 
plication of his affairs and the peculiar construction of his will, a suit in 
chancery to establish his legal heirship was necessary. Several years elapsed 
before the question was decided, when the Proprietaryship of the province 
descended to John, Richard, and Thomas Penn. John died in 1746 and 
Richard in 1771, when John, Richard's son, and Thomas became sole Pro- 
prietaries. But the Revolution and the Declaration of Independence soon 
caused a radical change in the provincial government."— Me^mmj. 

During the Revolution the Penn family were Tories, adherents of Eng- 
land, and on the 27th of November, 1779, the Legislature of Pennsylvania 
confiscated all their property except certain manors, etc., of which surveys 

7(> 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

and returns had been made prior to the 4th of July, 1776. The Penns were 
granted as a compensation for these confiscations one hundred and thirty 
thousand pounds sterHng. This ended the rule of the Penns in America. The 
treaty of peace between England and what is now the United States was 
ratified by Congress in January, 1784. All foreign domination or rule in the 
colonies then ceased, but internal troubles with the savages still continued in 
this State in the north and northwest. 

" The Indians were jealous of their rights, and restive under any real or 
fancied encroachments that might be made upon them, and it required the 
exercise of great care, caution, and prudence on the part of the authorities to 
avert trouble on the northern and western boundaries of the State ; and this 
they did not always succeed in doing, as many adventurous spirits, pushing 
far out into the unsettled wilderness, discovered to their sorrow. Fortunately, 
however, by the treaty of October, 1784, with the Six Nations at Fort Stanwix, 
and that of January, 1785, with the Wyandots and Delawares at Fort Mcin- 
tosh, the Indian title was extinguished to all the remaining territory within 
the then acknowledged limits of the State which had been previously pur- 
chased. The boundaries of that great northwestern section of the State cov- 
ered by this purchase may be briefly described as follows : Beginning on the 
east branch of the Susquehanna River where it crosses the northern boundary 
of the State in Bradford County ; thence down the east branch to the mouth of 
Towanda Creek ; thence up Towanda Creek to its head-waters ; thence by a 
straight line west to the head-waters of Pine Creek ; thence down Pine Creek 
to the west branch of the Susquehanna ; thence up the west branch to Cherry 
Tree in Clearfield County; thence by a straight line to Kittanning, on the 
Allegheny River, in Armstrong County; thence down the Allegheny River 
to the Ohio River ; thence down the Ohio River to where it crosses the western 
boundary to Lake Erie ; and thence east along the northern boundary of the 
State to the beginning. And within this territory at the present day we find 
the counties of Tioga, Potter, McKean, Warren, Crawford, Venango, Forest, 
Clarion, Elk, Jefferson, Cameron, Butler, Lawrence, and Mercer, and parts 
of the counties of Bradford, Clinton, Clearfield, Indiana, Armstrong, Alle- 
gheny, Beaver, and Erie." — Annual Report of Internal Affairs. 

The Indians received for this territory ten thousand dollars in cash. Our 
wilderness was then in Northumberland County. " All land within the late 
(1784) purchase from the Indians, not heretofore assigned to any other par- 
ticular county, shall be taken and deemed to be within the limits of Northum- 
berland County and Westmoreland County. And that from Kittanning up 
the Allegheny to the mouth of Conewango Creek, and from thence up said 
creek to the northern line of this State, shall be the line between Northum- 
berland County." — Smith's Laws, vol. ii. p. 325. 

"Under the Proprietary government which ended November 27, 1779, 
land was disposed to whom, on what terms, in such quantities, and such loca- 

77 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

tions as the proprietor or his agents saw proper. The unoccupied lands were 
never put in the market, nor their sale regulated by law. Every efifort made 
by the Assembly to secure uniformity in the sale and price of land was resisted 
by the proprietor as an infringement upon his manorial rights. After the 
Commonwealth became vested with the proprietary interests, a law was passed 
April 9, 1781, for establishing the land-office, for the purpose of enabling those 
persons to whom grants had been made to perfect their titles. July i, 1784, an 
act was passed opening the land-office for the sale of vacant lands in the 
purchase of 1768. The price was fixed at £10 per one hundred acres, or thirty- 
three and one-third cents per acre, in addition to the warrant survey and 
patent fees, and the quantity in each warrant limited to four hundred acres 
and the six per cent, allowance. The purchase of 1784 having been com- 
pleted and confirmed by the treaty at Fort Mcintosh, January, 1785, the land- 
office was opened for the sale of lands in the new purchase December 21, 1785, 
at which the price was fixed at £30 per one hundred acres, and warrants were 
allowed to contain one thousand acres, with ten per cent, overplus, besides 
the usual allowance." This is the reason why so many old warrants contained 
eleven hundred acres, with six per cent., or sixty acres more. " Nevertheless, 
the price of the land was placed so high that but few speculators ventured to 
invest in the hilly and heavily timbered lands of Northern Pennsylvania. 
Under the pressure of certain land-jobbers, who were holding important 
offices ( ?) in the Commonwealth, like John Nicholson, Robert Morris, and 
William Bingham, an act was passed April 3, 1792, in which the price of 
vacant lands was reduced to fifty shillings per one hundred acres, or six and 
two-thirds cents per acre. Speculation ran wild. Applications for warrants 
poured into the office by tens of thousands. The law, while it appeared to 
favor persons of small means, and prevent the wealthy from acquiring large 
portions of the public domain, was so drawn that by means of fictitious appli- 
cations and poll deeds— that is, mere assignments of the application without 
the formalities of acknowledgment— any party could possess himself of an 
unlimited quantity of the unappropriated lands. Within a year or two nearly 
all the lands in the county (then Northumberland) had been applied for, 
Nicholson, Morris, Bingham, James D. Le Roy, Henry Drinker, John 
Vaughan, Pickering, and Hodgdon being the principal holders."— Cra/;'.y His- 
tory of Bradford County, pp. 40, 41. 

" When, in the pursuance of this policy which had been adopted by Wil- 
liam Penn, by treaties with and by purchases of the Indians, they 'finally 
became divested of their original title to all the lands in Pennsylvania; then 
under what was called ' The Late Purchase,' which covered all of this section 
of country and included it in Northumberland County, in the year 1785 certain 
warrants, called 'Lottery Warrants,' were issued by governmental authority 
to persons who would pay twenty pounds per hundred acres, authorizing them 
to enter upon the lands and make selections where thev pleased. This was 

78 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

done to some extent, and on those warrants surveys were made ; but, as there 
was no road by which emigrants could come into the country, no settlements 
could be made except where the sturdy pioneer could pvish his canoe, ig- 
noring, or overcoming all the privations and difficulties incident to a pioneer 
life in such a wilderness." 

PIONEER SURVEYS 

With a desire to give a complete history of the pioneer surveys of the 
northwest, I addressed a letter to Hon. I. B. Brown, Deputy Secretary of 
Internal Affairs, asking for all the information possessed by the State. I 
herewith submit his replv, — viz. : 

" Department of Internal Affairs, 
" Harrisburg, Pa., March 7, 1895. 
" Mr. W. J. McKnight, Brookville, Pa. 

" Dear Sir, — In answer to your letter of the Sth instant, we beg to say 
that prior to the opening of the land-office in May, 1785, for the sale of lands 
within the purchase of 1784, that part of the purchase lying east of the Alle- 
gheny River and Conewango Creek was divided into eighteen districts, and a 
deputy-surveyor appointed for each. These districts were numbered consecu- 
tively, beginning with No. i, on the Allegheny River, and running eastward. 
The southern line of district No. i began on the old purchase line of 1768 at 
Kittanning, and following that line in successive order were districts Nos. 2, 
3, 4, 5, and 6, the latter terminating at the marked cherry-tree on the bank 
of the west branch of the Susquehanna River at Canoe Place. From that 
point the district line between the sixth and seventh districts, as then con- 
stituted, is supposed to be the line that divides the present counties of Indiana 
and Jefferson from the county of Clearfield as far north as Sandy Lick Creek. 

" An old draft and report, found among the records of this department, 
show that Robert Galbraith, one of the early surveyors of Bedford County, 
ran the purchase line of 1768 from the cherry-tree to Kittanning for the pur- 
pose of marking it and ascertaining also the extent of the several survey 
districts north of the line and between the two points. This draft and accom- 
panying report are without date, but the survey was presumably made during 
the summer of 1786. A reference to the appointment of Mr. Galbraith by the 
surveyor-general to perform this work, and the confirmation of the appoint- 
ment by the Supreme Executive Council on the Sth of April, 1786, appear 
in the ' Colonial Records,' vol. xv. pp. 3 and 4. In the same volume, p. 85, is 
found the record of an order in favor of Galbraith for forty-five pounds, 
twelve shillings, to be in full for his services in running and marking the line 
and ' laying off' the districts of the deputy-surveyors. He says in his report, 
' I began at the marked cherry-tree and measured along the purchase line 
seven miles and forty perches for James Potter's district, thence fifty-four 
perches to the line run by James Johnston for the east line of his district; 
from the post marked for James Potter's district seven miles and forty perches 

79 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

to a post marked for James Johnston's district, thence fifty-two perches to the 
line run by James Hamilton for the east line of his district ; from Johnston's 
post seven miles and forty perches to the post marked for James Hamilton's 
district, thence fifty-two perches to the line run by George Wood, Jr., for the 
east line of his district; from the post marked for Hamilton's district six 
miles and one hundred and fifty-two perches to the line run by Thomas B. 
McClean for the east line of his district, thence two hundred and eight perches 
to the post marked for George Wood, Jr.'s, district, thence six miles and one 
hundred and fifty perches to the line run by John Buchanan for the east line 
of his district, thence two hundred and ten perches to the post marked for 
Thomas Brown McClean's district, thence two miles and one hundred and 
twenty perches to the Allegheny River for John Buchanan's district.' 

" With the exception of the first, these districts each extended seven miles 
and forty perches along the purchase line, with the division lines between 
them running north to the line of New York. Undoubtedly the fourth, fifth, 
and sixth districts, of which James Hamilton, James Johnston, and General 
James Potter were respectively the deputy-surveyors, must have embraced, 
if not all, at least much the larger part of the territory that subsequently 
became the county of Jefferson, while the earliest surveys were made within 
that territory during the summer of 1785 by the surveyors named. It is 
possible, however, that part of the third district, of which George Wood, Jr., 
was the deputy-surveyor, may have been within these limits, and if so, surveys 
were no doubt also made by him. These first surveys were principally made 
and returned on the first warrants granted within the purchase, commonly 
known as the lottery warrants, and many of them in the name of Timothy 
Pickering and Company were located on lands that are now within Jefferson 
County. 

" General James Potter died in the year 1789, and was succeeded by his 
son, James Potter, who was appointed in 1790. One of the reasons given for 
the appointment of James Potter, second, was that he had filled the position 
of an assistant to his father, and had done so much, of the actual work in the 
field, and was therefore so thoroughly conversant with the lines of surveys 
already run, that he would avoid the interferences another person might fall 
into, thus preventing future trouble arising from conflicting locations. It does 
not appear, however, that the second James Potter ever did any work in the 
district, as the deputies' lists of surveys on file in the land-office show no 
returns from him. 

" Soon after the year 1790 a change was made by the surveyor-general in 
the arrangement of the districts within the purchase of 1784, by which the 
number was reduced to six, counting west from the mouth of Lycoming Creek 
to the Allegheny River. In this arrangement the two western districts, Nos. 
5 and 6, were assigned respectively to William P. Brady and Enion Williams. 
Williams was succeeded in 1794 by John Broadhead. Brady's district is 

80 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

described as ' beginning at a cherry-tree of late General Potter's district, and 
from thence extending by district No. 4 due north to the northern boundary 
of Pennsylvania, thence by the same west fourteen miles, thence south to the 
line of purchase of 1768, late the southern boundary of James Johnston's and 
General Potter's districts, and by the same to the place of beginning.' 

" The sixth district comprised all the territory west of Brady's district 
to the Allegheny River and Conewango Creek. All of the present county of 
Jefferson must have been within these districts. The surveys made and re- 
turned by Brady, Williams, and Broadhead, for the Holland Company, John 
Nicholson, Robert Morris, and other large purchasers of lands, are so numer- 
ous as to practically cover all the lands left unsurveyed by their predecessors 
within that particular section of the State. A small part of the county, in 
the vicinity of Brockwayville, was in Richard Shearer's district. No. 7, east 
of General Potter's line, and a number of lottery warrants was surveyed by 
Shearer in that locality in 1785. That part of the county subsequently fell 
within district No. 4, of which James Hunter was the surveyor, who also 
returned a few surveys. 

" In what manner these pioneer surveyors in the wilderness were 
equipped, and what the outfit for their arduous and difficult labors may have 
been, we do not know and have no means of ascertaining. Doubtless they had 
many severe trials and endured many hardships in preparing the way for 
future settlements and advancing civilization, for which they receive little 
credit or remembrance at this day. Possibly their only equipment was the 
ordinary surveyor's compass and the old link chain of those days, but they 
nevertheless accomplished much work that remams valuable down to the 
present time. For their labor they were paid by fees fixed by law. The law 
of that day also provided a per diem wage of three shillings for chain-carriers, 
to be paid by the purchaser of the land. 

" Very truly yours, 

"Isaac B. Brown, 

" Secretary." 

You will see from the above that in 1785, Richard Shearer, with his 
chain-carriers and his axe-men, traversed what is now Brockwayville and the 
forest east of it; that James Potter, with his chain-carriers and axe-men, 
traversed the forests near Temples, now Warsaw ; that James Johnston, with 
his chain-carriers and axe-men, traversed the forest where Brookville now is, 
and that James Hamilton, with his chain-carriers and axe-men, traversed the 
forest near or where Corsica now is. Each of these lines ran directly north 
to the New York line. Where these lines ran was then all in Northumberland 
County. In 1794, James Hunter, with his chain-carriers and axe-men, was 
in what is now Brockwayville region, William P. Brady, with his chain- 
carriers and axe-men, was in what is now the Temple region, and Enion 
6 81 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN .PENNSYLYANIf 

Williams and John Broadhead, with chain-carriers and axe-men, were between 
where Brookville now is and the Clarion region. 

" By an act of the Legislature, passed 'April i, 1794, the sale of these 
lands was authorized. The second section of this law provides that all lands 
west of the Allegheny Mountains shall not be more than three pounds ten 
shillirigs for every hundred acres. 

"Section four provides . that the quantity of land granted to one person 
shall not exceed four hundred acres. Section six provides for the survey and 
laying, out of these lands by the surveyor-general, or his deputies into tracts 
of not more than five hundred acres and nofless than two hundred acres, to 
be sold at public auction at such times as the ' Supreme Executive Council 
may direct.' ■ . 

; " When all claims. had been paid, ' in specie or money of the State,' for 
patenting, surveying, etc., a title was granted to the purchaser. In case he 
was not ready or able to make full payment at the time of purchase, by paying 
all the fees appertaining thereto, he was allowed two years to complete the 
payment by paying lawful interest, and when the last payment was made a 
completed title was given. 

" By the act of April 8, 1785, the lands were sold by lottery, in portions 
hot to exceed one thousand acres to each applicant. Tickets, commencing 
with number one, were put in a wheel, and the warrants, which were called 
' Lottery Warrants,' issued on the said applications, were severally numbered 
according, to the decision of the said lottery, and bore date from the day on 
which the, drawing was finished. 

"Section seven of this act allowed persons holding these warrants to 
locate them upon any piece or portion of unappropriated lands. The land 
upon each warrant to be embraced in one tract, if possible. 

" On the 3d of April, 1792, the Legislature passed an act for the sale of 
these lands, which, in some respects, differed from the laws of 1784 and 1785. 
It offers land only to such persons as shall settle on them, and designates the 
kind and duration of settlement. 

" By section two of this act all lands lying north and west of the Ohio 
and Allegheny Rivers and C6bewahgo Creek, except such portions as had 
been or should be appropriated to public or charitable uses, were offered to 
such as would 'cultivate, impfdve, and settle upon them, or cause it to be 
done, for the price 6f seven pounds ten shillings for every hundred acres, 
with an allowance of six per centuni for roads and highways, to be located, 
surveyed, and secured to such purchasers, in the manner "'hereinafter men- 
tioned.' 

" Section three provided for the surveying and grantihgof warrants by 
the surveyor-general for any' quantity of land within the said limits, to not 
exceed four hundred acres, to any person who settled upon and improved 
said land. 

82 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA , 

"The act provided for the surveying and division of these lands. ., The 
warrants were, if possible, to contain all in one entire tract, and the form of 
the tract was to be as near, as circumstances would admit, to an oblong, whose 
length should not be greater than twice the breadth thereof. No warrants 
were to be issued in pursuance of this act until the purchase^money should 
have been paid to the receiver-general of the land-office. 

" The surveyor-general was obliged to make clear and fair entries of all 
warrants in a book to be provided for the purpose, and any applicant should 
be furnished with a certified copy of any warrant upon the payment of one- 
quarter of a dollar. 

" In this law the rights of the citizen were so well fenced about and so 
equitably defined that risk and hazard came only at his own. But contro- 
versies having arisen concerning this law between the judges of the State 
courts and those of the United States, which the Legislature, for a long time, 
tried in vain to settle, impeded for a time the settlement of the district. These 
controversies were not settled until 1805, "by a decision of Chief Justice Mar- 
shall, of the Supreme Court of the Uiiited States. 

"At the close of the Revolutionary War. several wealthy Hollanders,^ 
Wilhelm Willink, Jan Linklaen, and others,^to whom the United States was 
indebted for money loaned in carrying on the war, preferring to invest the 
money in this country, purchased of Robert Morris, the great financier of the 
country at that time, an immense tract of land in the State of New York, and 
at the same time took up by warrant (under the law above cited) large tracts 
in the State of Pennsylvania, east of the Allegheny River. Judge Yeates, on 
one occasion, said, ' The Holland Land Corhpany has paid to the State the 
consideration money of eleven hundred and sixty-two warrants and the sur- 
veying Tees' on one thousand and forty-eight tracts of land (generally four 
hundred acres each), besides making very considerable expenditures by their 
exertions, honorable to themselves and useful to the community, in order to 
effect settlements. Computing the sums advanced, the lost tracts, by prior 
improvements and interferences, and the quantity of one hundred acres 
granted to each individual for making an actuall settlement on their lands, it 
is said' that, averaging the whole, between two hundred and thirty and two 
hundred and forty dollars' have been expended by the company on each tract.' 

"An act was passed by the Legislature, March 31, 1823, authorizing 
Wilhelm Willink, and others of Holland to ' sell and convey any lands belong- 
ing to them in the Commonwealth.' " 

THE DONAT-ION LANDS OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

The soldiers of the Pennsylvania Line who served in the War of the 
Revolution were by act of legislation entitled to the wild lands of the State, 
and a large part of the northwestern portion • of . the State north of the 
depreciation lands and west of the Allegheny River was set apart and sur- 

83 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

veyed td the ofificers and soldiers who had served in the Continental army, in 
the Pennsylvania Line. A description of these lands, reference to the legis? 
lation authorizing their survey, and the explorations made in reference to 
their value, will be of interest to all those who are making a study of the 
origin of titles in Pennsylvania. 

As early as the 7th day of March, 1780, while the war of the American 
Revolution was still in active progress, and being vigorously waged by the 
hostile armies in the field, the General Assembly of Pennsylvania by resolution 
made a promise of " certain donations and quantities of land" to the soldiers' 
of the State, known as the " Pennsylvania Line," then serving in the Federal 
army. It was provided that these lands should be " surveyed and divided off" 
at the end of the war, and allotted to those entitled to receive them according 
to their several ranks. In order to comply with the letter and intention of 
the resolution of March, 1780, by the same act passed by the General Assem- 
bly March 12, 1783, in which it was provided that certain lands should be 
set apart and sold for the purpose of redeeming the certificates of depreciation 
given to the soldiers of the Pennsylvania Line, under the act of December 18, 
1780, it was also provided that " a certain tract of country, beginning at the 
mouth of Mogulbughtiton Creek ; * thence up the Allegheny River to the 
mouth of Cagnawaga Creek ; f thence due north to the northern boundary of 
the State ; thence west by said boundary, to the northwest corner of the State ; 
thence south, by the western boundary of the State, to the northwest corner 
of lands appropriated by this act for discharging the certificates J herein 
mentioned; and thence by the same lands east to the place of beginning; 
which said tract of country shall be reserved and set apart for the only and 
sole use of fulfilling and carrying into execution the said resolve." 

Under Section VI., of the same act, all rights, titles, or claims to land 
within the described bounds, whether obtained from the Indians, the late Pro- 
prietaries, or any other person or persons, were declared to be null and void, 
thus reserving the entire tract from sale or settlement until after the allot- 
ments of the soldiers were duly made and their claims fully satisfied. By 
Section VII., officers and privates were to be allowed two years after the 
declaration of peace in which to make their applications, and in case of death 
occurring to any one before his application was made, an additional year was 
allowed to the heirs, executors, or administrators of such person, and there- 
after unlocated tracts were to be disposed of upon such terms as the Legis- 
lature might direct. It may be said in passing, however, that the period for 
making applications was a number of times extended by subsequent legisla- 
tion. By the last section of the act. Section VIII., non-commissioned officers 



* Now known as Mahoning Creek, in Armstrong County. 
t Conewago Creek, in Warren County. 
t The depreciation certificates. 

84 



rnos. KEKs JR. lusTiuci; ) ' 

I Cession hj^f L\S. hy^XfiC Yorkjn 17!^l, [ vfiol' 

j 6i/^ii«s5!itfliusp7?!i-ij(-i?*;; ami ;>(/ yd U.S. to Pt(. I's'sl u 




NEVVCASTLE 1«| 
'" ' Suroeij8d\titj 

WILLIAM ALEXAfWES 
Returned FejJ.6 ' i U SB-jhuf^- 



/■^ ' I 






SHOWING LOCATION OF THE -r-' /7 ^ 

, BbNATION; L'ANDS^^^T" 



■-> ,'■ I DEPRECIATION 



LINE "/ 



P^NSYI^JifNIAi^/ 



V 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

and privates were prohibited from selling their shares of the land appro- 
priated to their use until after the same had been " actually surveyed and laid 
off," the act declaring such sales or conveyances absolutely null and void. In 
this last section of the act a distinction was made between the commissioned 
officers and the non-commissioned officers and privates, probably under an 
impression that the former were able to take better care of their interests than 
the latter. It will be observed that the territory thus set apart under the act 
of December 12, 1783, for donation purposes, comprises parts of the present 
counties of Lawrence, Butler, Armstrong, Venango, Forest, and Warren, all 
of the counties of Mercer and Crawford, and that portion of Erie which lies 
south of the triangle. The territory was then a wild and unbroken wilderness, 
and we can at this day, after a century of progress and civilization, truly 
regard this section of our great Commonwealth, now filled as it is with a 
prosperous and industrious population that has wrought wonders of advance- 
ment and improvement, as a splendid, a princely domain, devoted in our early 
history to a noble purpose. 

As a further reward for the services of the soldiers of the Pennsylvania 
Line, the next act of the General Assembly was one that exempted from 
taxation during lifetime the land which fell to the lot of each, unless the same 
was transferred or assigned to another person, and then follows soon after 
the purchase of 1784, the acts of March 24, 1785, which directed the mode by 
which the allowances of lands were to be distributed to the troops, and pro- 
viding that legal titles, vesting in them the right of ownership, be granted to 
them. The details of the plan of distribution provided in this act are particular 
and comprehensive. The surveyor-general was directed forthwith to appoint 
deputy-surveyors for the purpose of surveying the lots, who were to give 
bonds in the sum of eight hundred dollars each for the faithful performance 
of their duties, and to follow such instructions as they might from time to 
time receive from the surveyor-general and the Supreme Executive Council 
of the State. 

Another section describes the persons who should be entitled to land; 
and Section V., in order to comply with a previous resolution of the General 
Assembly, included the names of Baron Steuben, who was to receive a grant 
equal to that of a major-general of the Pennsylvania Line, and Lieutenant- 
Colonel Tilghman, a grant equal to that of a lieutenant-colonel of the same 
line ; while by Section VI. other troops, raised under resolutions of February 
and December, 1780, were also declared to be entitled to lands according to 
their rank and pay respectively. Section X. enacted that the lots should be 
of four descriptions : the first to contain five hundred acres each, the second 
three hundred acres each, the third two hundred and fifty acres each, and the 
fourth two hundred acres each, with the allowance of six per cent.; and 
before proceeding to perform their duties under the act the deputies were 
required to subscribe an oath or affirmation that in making their surveys they 

8s 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

would not choose out the best lands for the purpose of favoring any one of 
the four classes to the prejudice or injury of the others, or of the State. This 
section also provides for the proper marking of the lines, the numbering of 
the lots, and the transmission of field notes, drafts, and returns to the sur- 
veyor-general's office. Complete lists of all persons entitled to land under the 
act, with their rank and the quantity of land to be allotted to each, were to be 
furnished by the comptroller-general to the Supreme Executive Council in 
order that proper instructions, through the surveyor-general, might be given 
to surveyors in the field, as to the number of lots to be surveyed and the 
quantities in which they were to be laid off ; and when a sufficient number of 
lots were surveyed and returned, a draft of the whole was to be made and 
deposited in the rolls-office as a public record to serve in lieu of recording the 
patents. The wisdom of the last provision may be considered extremely 
doubtful, as has since been demonstrated in the fact that there are many 
patents for donation lands in existence of which the patent books of the 
land-office do not contain a line, and no little trouble in tracing title to certain 
of these tracts has been experienced in consequence of that defect in the act. 
The patent books should have contained the enrolment of all. Section VIII. 
provides minute directions for the distribution of the lots to claimants by 
lottery. Tickets representing the four classes, carefully numbered and tied 
" with silken thread," were to be placed in four wheels " like unto lottery 
wheels," from which the applicants were required to draw for their respective 
allotments. When not in use for drawing, the wheels were to be sealed and 
kept in the custody of a committee of the members of the Supreme Executive 
Council, the same committee having the right to judge and determine the 
right of every applicant to receive a grant, allowing in cases of doubt or 
difficulty an appeal to the council, whose decision was to be final. By this 
section of the act it was further provided that a major-general should draw 
four tickets from the wheel containing the numbers on the five hundred acre 
lots ; a brigadier-general, three tickets from the same wheel ; a colonel, two 
tickets from the same wheel ; a lieutenant-colonel, one ticket from the same 
wheel and one from the wheel containing the numbers on the three hundred 
acre lots ; a surgeon, chaplain, or major, two tickets from the wheel containing 
the numbers on the three hundred acre lots ; a captain, one ticket from the 
wheel containing the numbers on the five hundred acre lots ; a lieutenant, two 
tickets from the wheel containing the numbers on the two hundred- acre lots; 
an ensign or regimental surgeon's mate, one ticket from the wheel containing 
the numbers on the three hundred acre lots ; a sergeant, sergeant-major, or 
quartermaster-sergeant, one ticket from the wheel containing the numbers on 
the two hundred and fifty acre lots, and a. drum-major, fife-major, drummer, 
fifer, corporal, or private, one ticket from the wheel containing the numbers 
on the two hundred acre lots. It will be seen that the allotment according to 
rank was therefore as follows : To a major-general, two thousand acres ; a 

86 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

brigadier-general, fifteen hundred acres; a colonel, ome thousand acres; a 
lieutenant-colonel, eight hundred acres; a surgeon, chaplain, or major, six 
hundred acres; a captain, five hundred acres; a lieutenant, four hundred 
acres; an ensign or regimental surgeon's mate, three hundred acres; a 
sergeant, sergeant-major, or quartermaster-sergeant, two hundred and fifty 
acres ; and a drum-major, fife-major, drummer or fifer, or private, two 
hundred acres. Another section provides for the issuing of patents, to 
be signed, sealed, and delivered by the president or vice-president of the 
Supreme Executive Council and prescribing a form for the same, the con- 
sideration being " services rendered by , in the late army of the United 

States." The only expense to which applicants were to be subjected was the 
fee for " surveying, drafting, and returning," including the cost of chain- 
bearers, markers, etc. The sum fixed was three pounds for a -lot of five 
hundred acres, two pounds for a lot of three hundred acres, and one pound 
ten shillings for lots of two hundred and fifty and two hundred acres, to be paid 
by each applicant before he could be permitted to draw for his lot. There were 
other provisions of the act for the purpose of fully cai;rying into effect the in- 
tentions of the General Assembly in making the grant, especially in Sections 
XX. and XXI., which provided for the employment of an agent for the pur- 
pose of exploration to ascertain and note the quality of the land and the topo- 
graphic features of the country. This agent was particularly to note such 
parts of land as he might deem unfit for cultivation. 

Three days before the act of March 25, 1785, became a law a committee 
chosen by the officers of the Pennsylvania Line, who were no doubt acquainted 
with the provisions of the proposed law, and concerned for their own interests, 
united in a letter to the Supreme Executive Council; recommending the 
appointment of General William Irvine, the commanding officer at Fort Pitt, 
as agent to explore the lands. After calling attention to the provisions in the 
proposed law for the employment of such agent, they say, " We thereforie 
pray that Council will be pleased to appoint William Irvine, Esq., to that 
office, if the bill passes in its present state, as he is a gentleman well acquainted 
with the land appropriated for that purpose, and who is, we humbly conceive, 
worthy your confidence, as well as that of your most humble servants." 
{Pennsylvania Archives, vol. x. p. 425.) The Supreme Executive Council 
acted so promptly upon the recommendation of the committee of officers, that 
two days after the bill became a law. General Irvine was appointed agent, and 
having on the same day, March 26, 1785', subscribed his oath of office, an 
order for ninety pounds was issued in his favor as part of his pay. On the 
same day he received his instructions, which appear in Volume X., page 427, 
Pennsylvania Archives. They read as follows : 

In Council, March 26, 1785. ' 

" Sir : By virtue of the authority vested in us by the act of assembly for 
directing the Mode of distributing the Donation Lands, promised to the 

87 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

troops of this Commonwealth. We have appointed you Agent to perform the 
duties of this office, it will be necessary that with all possible Dispatch & 
accuracy, you explore the country to be laid off agreeably to Directions of 
that Act, noting the quality of the land in the several parts thereof, the hills, 
mountains, waters, creeks, marshes, uplands, bottom lands, &c., and such 
other occurrences as may deserve notice with their situation, & distance, but 
particularly the parts of the land which you may deem unfit for cultivation, 
&c. ; and from time to time transmitting us your remarks, notes, and descrip- 
tion of the Country." 

This letter is signed by John Dickinson, and addressed to " The Honor- 
able General William Irvine." General Irvine appears to have entered upon 
his duties of exploration, under the instructions given him, with little delay, 
and to have exercised good judgment, assiduity, and perseverance in pur- 
suing them. A report of his notes and observations was transmitted to 
President Dickinson, in a letter dated at Carlisle, August 17, 1785. These 
papers are replete with interest and are here reproduced as they appear in 
Volume XL, pages 513 to 520, Pennsylvania Archives. 

J, . " Carlisle, August 17, 1785. 

' To His Excellency, John Dickinson, Esq. 

" Sir : You have herewith transmitted my description of the donation 
tract of country, together with a sketch. These will, I hope, prove satisfac- 
tory to your Excellency and the honorable the council, and answer the public 
purposes for which they are designed. 

" I observed in a former letter that few of the deputy-surveyors attended 
on my first going into the country, these agreed to postpone the business till 
September. On my return to Fort Pitt, after my tour, so late as July I found 
three of the gentlemen preparing to set out to survey. I did not consider it 
my duty to attend so small a number of them, as it would be spending the 
public money and my own time to little purpose, besides the law gives me no 
other control over them than to report to the Surveyor-General should they 
neglect or delay performing their duty. And I find sundry of them conceive 
they have not only a right, but are in some measure obliged to survey the land, 
good or bad, as each of them are instructed to survey a certain number of lotsi 
for instance, two hundred and sixty of different descriptions and sizes, with- 
out any regard to water, bottom, upland, or any of the usual modes observed 
m laymg of land. ' Several of th^ districts has not twenty lots of good land 
m them, yet the deputies are each instructed to survey upwards of two hun- 
dred ^d sixty, when others contain perhaps double the quantity directed.' 

" Unless the Surveyor-General alters his instruction materially, or coun- 
cil, or the Assembly, take order in the premises, the whole end designed will 
be defeated as no man of common understanding will accept of pay for survey- 
ing such land. 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" I am of opinion there is more than sufficient of good land on the tract 
appropriated to answer the purpose, provided the western boundary Hne of the 
State strikes the west branch of Beaver Creek as high as is generally supposed. 
Mr. McLane is of opinion it will cross at least sixteen miles higher than 
where his line does. In this case I propose this alteration for the consideration 
of council, that the deputies be instructed to begin at the west line of the State 
and survey all the land on the several branches of Beaver within the tract, 
before any other is laid off, if this should not prove sufficient, then proceed 
to the forks and upper branches of Tunck and Oil Creeks for the remainder. 
This mode will, I conceive, be better for the troops as their settlement, or 
vicinity to others will be more compact, consequently the land more valuable 
and it will certainly be more advantageous to the State, as whatever lands 
of value may be along the river and upper end of the tract will be reserved 
unculled, to dispose of as may be judged most expedient ; and notwithstand- 
ing the spots of good land are detached, yet some of them are of such excellent 
quality, and so well situated on account of water carriage, easy communication 
with Lake Erie, and so well calculated for stock-farms, that the State may be 
much benefited by reserving them for future disposal. 

" This mode will occasion an alteration, perhaps, with respect to the 
number of deputies, as fewer than the present number appointed would 
execute this mode best, and four or five would doubtless perform the business, 
provided they are allowed to employ assistants ; these four or five might have 
constant communication with each other, and act as it were superintendents 
over the assistants, by which they could determine when the number of lots 
of each class required is done. I know it may be urged, in opposition to this, 
that sundry of these gentlemen have already gone to considerable expense 
in equipping themselves for the business and that it will be hard to dismiss 
them under these circumstances. To this I answer that the private advantage 
of two or three men ought not to be put in competition with that of as many 
thousands, particularly where the interest of the State at large is concerned 
also. I farther answer that these men may be employed by the principals, and 
will venture to assert that some of them are scarce fit even for this subordinate 
station, as perhaps the first chain or compass they ever saw was purchased 
for this occasion. The number, however, that I have proposed may be found 
among the gentlemen who understand both theory and practice extremely 
well, and are men of approved integrity, and I believe the State will find their 
account in this or some such mode, if they even pay the trifling expense the 
gentlemen have been at. 

" I have the honor to be, 

" With the greatest respect, 

" Sir, Your Excellency's most 

" Obedient humble servant, 

" Wm. Irvine." 
89 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" Notes taken and observations made (by) the Agents appointed to ex- 
plore the tract of country presented by the State to the late troops of the Penn- 
sylvania Line, of the American Army. 

" In exploring the donation land, I began on the Line run by Mr. Mc- 
Lane, between that and the tracts appropriated for redeeming depreciation 
certificates which he ascertained by a due North Line to be near thirty miles 
from Fort Pitt, and by the Common computation along the path leading from 
Fort Pitt to Venango on the mouth of French Creek, which some affirm was 
actually measured by the French when they possessed that country. I found 
it forty miles ; East of this path along Mr. McLane's Line for five or six miles, 
the land is pretty level, well watered with small springs, and of tolerable 
quality, but from thence to the Allegheny River which is about Twenty-five 
miles due East, there is no land worth mentioning fit for cultivation ; as far 
as French Creek all between the Venango Path and the Allegheny there is 
very little land fit for cultivation, as it is a continued chain of high barren 
mountains except small breaches for Creeks and Rivulets to desembogue 
themselves into the River. These have very small bottoms. 

" As I proceeded along the path leading to French Creek about five miles 
to a Branch of Beaver or rather in this place called Canaghqunese I found the 
land of a mixed quality, some very strong and broken with large quantities 
of fallen Chestnut, interspersed with strips covered with Hickory, lofty oak, 
and for under wood or Brush, Dogwood, Hazel, &c. ; along the Creek very 
fine rich and extensive bottoms in general fit for meadows; from hence to 
another branch of said Creek called Flat Rock Creek, about ten miles distant, 
the land is generally thin, stony and broken, loaded, however, with Chestnut 
Timber, the greatest part of which lies flat on the earth, which renders it 
difficult travelling— at the usual crossing place on the last named Creek, there 
is a beautiful fall over a Rock ten or twelve feet high at the fording imme- 
diately above the fall, the bottom is one entire Rock, except some small per- 
forations which is capacious enough to receive a horse's foot and leg — it is 
here about forty yards wide and runs extremely rapid. From Flat Rock to 
Sandy Creek by Hutchins & Scull called, Lycomie, is about Twenty-four 
miles ; on the first twelve there are a considerable quantity of tolerable level 
land tho much broken with large stony flats, on which grows heavy burthens 
of Oak, Beech, and Maple, particularly seven or eight miles from the Creek 
there is a plain or savannah three or four miles long, and at least two wide, 
without any thing to obstruct the prospect, except here and there a small 
grove of lofty Oaks, or Sugar Tree, on the skirts the ground rises gradually 
to a moderate heighth from which many fine springs descend, which water 
this fine Tract abundantly — along these Rivulets small but fine spots of 
meadow may be made, from hence the remaining twelve miles to Sandy Creek 
is a ridge or mountain, which divides the waters of the Allegheny, the Beaver, 
and Ohio, and is from East to West at least three times as long as it is broad 

90 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

— on the whole of this there is little fit for cultivation, yet some of it is well 
calculated for raising stock. But a person must be possessed of very large 
Tracts to enable him to do even this to purpose. 

" From Sandy to French Creek is about seven or eight miles from the 
mouth, but it soon Forks into many small runs, and is but a few miles from 
the mouth to the source — there are two or three small bottoms only on this 
Creek — to French Creek is one entire hill, no part of which is by any means 
fit for cultivation. 

" On the lower side, at the mouth of French Creek, where the Fort called 
Venango formerly stood, there is three or four hundred acres of what is 
commonly called upland or dry bottom, very good land. On the North East 
side, about one mile from the mouth, another good bottom begins of four or 
five hundred acres, and on the summits of the hills on the same side tho high, 
there is a few hundred acres of land fit for cultivation — this is all in this 
neighborhood nearer than the first fork of the Creek; which is about eight 
miles distant. On the Road leading from French to Oil Creek, within about 
three miles and a half of Venango, there is a bottom of fine land on the Bank 
of the Allegheny, containing four or five hundred acres, there is little beside 
to Oil Creek fit for cultivation. 

" French Creek is one hundred and fifty yards wide. 

" From French to Oil Creek is about eight miles — this is not laid down 
in any map, notwithstanding it is a large stream not less than eighty, 
or perhaps a hundred yards wide at the mouth, a considerable depth, both of 
which it retains to the first fork, which is at least twenty miles up, and I am 
certain is as capable of rafting timber or navigating large boats on as French 
Creek in the same seasons this high. On the North East or upper side of 
this creek, at the mouth, is four or five hundred acres of good bottom, and 
about a mile up there is another small bottom on the South West side, which 
is all the good land to the first fork. 

" Oil Creek has taken its name from an oil or bituminous matter being 
found floating on the surface. Many cures are attributed to this oil by the 
natives, and lately by some whites, particularly Rheumatic pains and old 
ulcers ; it has hitherto been taken for granted that the water of the Creek was 
impregnated with it, as it was found in so many places, but I have found this to 
be an error, as I examined it carefully and found it issuing out of two places 
only — these two are about four hundred yards distant from (each) other, and 
on opposite sides of the Creek. It rises in the bed of the Creek at very low 
water, in a dry season I am told it is found without any mixture of water, and 
is pure oil ; it rises, when the creek is high, from the bottom in small globules, 
when these reach the surface they break and expand to a surprizing extent, 
and the flake varies in color as it expands; at first it appears yellow and 
purple only, but as the rays of the sun reach it in more directions, the colors 
appear to multiply into a greater number than can at once be comprehended. 

91 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" From Oil Creek to Cuskakushing, an old Indian Town, is about seven- 
teen miles — the whole of this way is barren, high mountains, not fit for culti- 
vation ; the mountain presses so close on the River that it is almost impassable, 
and by no means practicable when the River is high, then travellers either 
on foot or horseback are obliged to ascend the mountain and proceed along 
the summit. 

"At Cuskushing there is a narrow bottom about two miles long, good 
land and a very fine Island fifty or sixty acres, where the Indians formerly 
planted corn. From Cuskushing to another old Indian Town, also on the 
Bank of the River, is about six miles ; this place is called Canenacai or Hick- 
ory Bottom ; here is a few hundred acres of good land and some small Islands, 
from hence to a place named by the natives the Burying Ground, from a 
tradition they have that some extraordinary man was hurried there many hun- 
dred years ago, is about thirteen miles ; most of this way is also a barren and 
very high mountain, and you have to travel greatest part of the way in the 
Bed of the River. To Brokenstraw Creek, or Bockaloons, from the last 
named place is about fourteen miles, here the hills are not so high or barren, 
and there are sundry good bottoms along the River. About half way there 
is a hill called by the Indians Paint Hill, where they find very good red oker. 
Brokenstraw is thirty yards wide, there is a fine situation and good bottom 
near the mouth on both sides, but a little way up the creek large hills covered 
with pine make their appearance. From Brokenstraw to Canewago is eight 
or nine miles — here is a narrow bottom, interspersed with good dry land, and 
meadow ground all the way, and there is a remarkable fine tract at the mouth 
of Conewago, of a thousand or perhaps more acres, from the whole of which 
you command a view up and down the main branch of Allegheny, and also 
up Conewago a considerable distance. Conewago is one hundred and fifty 
yards wide, and is navigable for large boats up to the head of Jadaque Lake, 
which is upwards of fifty mile from its junction with the east branch of the 
River. The head of Jadaque Lake is said to be only twelve miles from Lake 
Erie, where it is also said the French formerly had a Fort, and a good Waggon 
Road from it to the Lake. Conewago forks about thirty miles from the 
mouth of the East Branch, is lost in a morass where the Indians frequently 
carried their canoes across into a large creek called the Cateraque, which 
empties into the Lake forty or fifty miles above Niagara. 

" This account of the branches of Conewago I hade from my guide, an 
Indian Chief of the Senecas, a native of the place, and an intelligent white 
man, who traversed all this country repeatedly. I have every reason to believe 
the facts are so— tho I do not know them actually to be so as I went only a 
small distance up this creek, being informed there is no land fit for cultivation 
to the first fork or to the lower end of Jadaque Lake, which begins seven 
miles up the West Branch, except what has already been mentioned at the 
mouth of the creek, the appearance of the country, in a view taken from the 

92 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

summit of one of the high hills, fully justified this report, as nothing can be 
seen but one large chain of mountains towering above another — here, perhaps, 
it may not be amiss to insert the supposed distances in a collected view — and 

first from Fort Pitt to McLane's 40 

To fourth branch of Canaghqunese 5 

Rocky, or Flat Rock Creek 10 

Sandy Creek 24 

French Creek 8 

Oil Creek, 6 

Cuskacushing 17 

Cananacai 6 

The Burying Ground 13 

Brokenstraw 14 

Conewagoo g 

152 
Deduct from Fort Pitt to Mc'Lenes line between the depre- 
ciation and donation tracts 40 

Leaves the donation land to be 112 Miles long. 

" For the same reason that I did not proceed far up Conawago, I re- 
turned the most direct Road to the burying ground — here three old Indian 
paths take off, one to Cayahaga, on Lake Erie, one to Cuskusky, on the West 
branch of Beaver Creek, and the third to a Salt Spring, higher up the same 
branch of Beaver — from hence I crossed the chain of mountains, which runs 
along the River, and in traveling what I computed to be about twenty five 
miles, reached the first fork on Oil Creek, on the most easterly Branches 
there are vast quantities of White Pine, fit for masts, Boards, &c. In this 
fork is a large Body of tolerable good land, tho high, and along the West 
Branch very rich and extensive Bottoms fit for meadow, of the first quality — 
this continues about fifteen miles along the creek, which is a beautiful stream, 
from thirty to forty yards wide, and pretty deep. From the West Branch of 
Oil Creek I proceeded on a Westerly course, about ten miles along a ridge 
which is difficult to ascend, being high and steep, but when you get up it is 
flat on the summit, four or five miles broad, very level, and fine springs issue 
from the declivity on both sides, the land heavily loaded with Hickory, large 
Oak, Maple, and very large Chestnut. From the West end of this ridge 
several large springs rise, which form the most easterly branch of French 
Creek — there are five branches of this creek, which is called Sugar Creek, by 
Mr. Hutchins, all of which have fine Bottoms, excellent for meadow and 
pasturage, but the upland or ridges between are stony, cold, moist and broken, 
chiefly covered with Beech, Pine and scrubby Chestnut. 

93 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" At the fork or junction of Sugar Creek with the main or West Branch 
of French Creek (which is only eight miles up from Venango), there is some 
fine plains or savannahs, and a large quantity of meadow ground— there are 
but few bottoms, and little or no upland besides what is above mentioned, for 
twenty miles up this branch, where there is a considerable quantity of excellent 
meadow ground, beside which there is not much good land until you reach 
Le Berroff (Boeuf's). 

" From Venango, I returned along the path leading to Pittsburg to within 
about seven miles of Flat Rock Creek, here I took a West course along a large 
dividing ridge already noticed, about ten miles, where I struck a branch of 
Canaghquenese or Beaver, about thirty yards wide, and which joins Flat 
Rock before it empties into the main branch of Canaghquenese — on this creek 
is very fine and larger bottoms, and in some places some good upland, tho' 
much broken with high, barren hills and some deep morasses. This creek 
is not laid down in any map that I have seen. After having explored this 
creek and lands adjacent, I proceeded on a South course till I struck Mr. 
McLene's line within eight miles of the great Beaver Creek, which I followed 
to the Creek ; all this distance is very hilly, there are some small bottoms, but 
the major part of those eight miles is not fit for cultivation. 

" From where Mr. McLane's line strikes the great or West Branch of the 
Beaver, I continued exploring the country up the several western branches of 
the Beaver, Viz, the most Westerly, and two branches denominated the She- 
nango. The distance from the above named line to an old Moravian Town is 
three or four miles, from thence to Shenango, two and a half or three miles ; 
thence to a fork or second branch, two miles; from the mouth of Shenango 
to Cuskuskey, on the West branch, is six or seven miles, but it was formerly 
all called Cuszuskey by the natives along this branch as high as the Salt spring, 
which is twenty-five miles from the mouth of Shenango. There is such a 
similarity in almost all the lands on all the branches of Beaver Creek, that a 
particular description of each would be mere (repetition). I shall therefore 
only briefly observe that the bottoms generally are the most excellent that can 
be well imagined, and are very extensive — the upland is hilly, and some bad, 
but most of the hills are fertile and very rich soil — from the falls of the Great 
Beaver up to the head of the West Branch, and twenty miles up the Shenango 
branch, is to a considerable distance on either side those creeks there is little 
land but may' be cultivated, and I believe no country is better watered. : .;■; 

" I herewith' transmit a sketch of that part of the country only which Jiiy 
duty as ageiit obliged me to explore. This, together with the remarks herein 
cdntained will, I flatter myself give a juster idea of the tract than any map yet 
published. Tho' I do not pretend to say it is correct, as the distances are' all 
supposed,' and there< are probably several omissions in this sketch", yiet more 
creeks, hills, &c., are noticed than have been before and their real courses, and 
near connections & division by Hills & Ridges ascertained. 

94 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" No Creek is laid down or branch which is not upwards of Twenty yards 
wide — smaller runs are not noticed — on the whole I have endeavored as well 
in the remarks as in the sketch,* so far as I have gone, to answer the end for 
which I was appointed Agent, as well as in my power. 

" Wm. Irvine, 

" Agent. 

" N. B. The dotted lines show the several courses taken in exploring the 
country on the sketch — besides the several offsets were made to gain summits 
of hills for the benefit of prospects. All the Branches of Canaghquenese, 
which are six or seven in number, join and form one large Creek before it 
enters the Beaver, the junction is about eleven miles above the mouth of 
Beaver from above the falls and four below McLene's line. I have been 
unavoidably obliged to leave the North and West lines open in the sketch, as 
I could not do otherwise till these boundary lines are run ; this also prevented 
my compleating the business, not being able to determine perhaps within 
several miles, where the line may run. I am persuaded the State of Penn- 
sylvania might reap great advantages by paying early attention to the very 
easy several communications with Lake Erie from the western parts of their 
country, particularly Conewago; French Creek and the West Branch of 
Beaver, from a place called Mahoning to where it is navigable for small craft 
is but thirty, miles to Cayahuga River, which empties into the lake. A good 
waggon road may be made from Fort Pitt to the mouth of French Creek, & 
all the way from the mouth of Beaver to Cayuhuga, which is not more than 
80 miles. The breadth of the tract cannot be ascertained till the Western 
Boundary is run. Mr. McLene suspends for this reason extending his line 
further West than the Great Beaver, which he has found to be 47 miles from 
the mouth, Mogwolbughtitum, from this part of Beaver Creek it is conjected 
the West line of the State will run 10 or 12 miles." 

In the mean time the authorities of the State were busy in jperfecting the 
machinery necessary for carrying into effect the scheme for the allotment 
and distribution of the lands to those persons entitled to receive them. On 
the 3d of May, 1785, John Lukens, the surveyor-general, is informed that by 
the report of the comptroller-general the number of lots to be surveyed and 
the quantity of land that each should contain would be " one hundred and 
seventy-seven lots of the first description, each containing five hundred acres ; 
eighty-eight of the second description, each containing three hundred acres; 
one hundred and eighty-six of the third description, each containing two 
hundred and. fifty acres, and two thousand one hundred and nineteen of the 
fourth description, each containing two hundred, acres," making two thousand 
five hundred and seventy lots of the various descriptions, and containing in the 

* This sketch has not been found. 
95 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYXVANIA 

aggregate five hundred and eighty-five thousand two hundred acres of land. 
On the second of the same month the surveyor-general informed Council that 
he had nominated the following persons to Council " for their approbation, to 
be appointed deputy-surveyors of the donation lands west of the Allegheny 
River,— viz.: Major William Alexander, Benjamin Lodge, Captain James 
Christie, Ephraim Douglass, Griffith Evans, James Dickinson, John Hender- 
son William Power, Junior, Peter Light, Andrew Henderson, James Dickin- 
son, James Hoge, David Watt, of Sherman's Valley, Alexander McDowell." 
The territory in which the donation surveys were to be made was divided 
into ten districts by the surveyor-general, after consultation with General 
Irvine, soon after the latter gentleman had received the appointment of agent. 
The districts were numbered in regular order to the north from the north 
line of the depreciation lands,— District No. i, adjoining that line, and Dis- 
trict No. lo, covering parts of the present counties of Erie and Warren. From 
a letter of the surveyor-general to Secretary Armstrong, dated May 14, 1785, 
in relation to the districts, there seems to have been some slight friction 
between the authorities in naming the deputy-surveyors. According to Mr. 
Lukens, the surveyors were named by him and General Irvine, " four of 
whom were officers of the Pennsylvania Line, and were recommended by 
their superior officers and were Practical Surveyors in the back counties, to 
which we added six more as per List sent to Council ye 5th inst." He then 
says, " At which Mr. Watts coming in, desired me to enter his son's name, 
which I did, and have also sent in the names of James Hoge & Peter Light, 
since for fear some of the first ten should disappoint us ; four of the first ten 
are Commissioned & the others sent for — now why the eleventh should be 
pushed before we hear some thing from the others, I should be glad to be 
informed, unless Council have some objection to some of the first." The 
trouble, whatever it may have been, soon disappeared, and the ten surveyors 
appointed were William Alexander, for the first district; John Henderson, 
for the second district ; Griffith Evans, for the third district ; Andrew Hen- 
derson, for the fourth district ; Benjamin Lodge, for the fifth district; James 
Christy, for the sixth district; William Power, for the seventh district; 
Alexander McDowell, for the eighth district ; James Dickinson, for the ninth 
district; and David Watts, for the tenth district. With a single exception 
the persons named must have entered upon the performance of their duties 
very promptly and pursued them with commendable energy. Considering 
the character of the country in which their work was to be done, its wild and 
unsettled condition, and the difficulties to be encountered and overcome, the 
task before them was by no means an easy one. Except a few white traders 
along the Allegheny River, they would meet only Indians, and with their 
presence in those days there would always be an apprehension of lurking 
danger. The surveys of nine districts were, however, made with little or no 
difficulty so far as the records show, and were returned to the land-office early 

96 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

in the year 1786, one district really on the 28th of December, 1785. There 
was an equal allotment of the number of tracts of each description to be sur- 
veyed to the ten districts, — ^twenty tracts of five hundred acres each, ten of 
three hundred each, twenty-one of two hundred and fifty acres each, and two 
hundred and seventeen of two hundred acres each to each district. The first 
district, William Alexander, surveyor, was returned in February, 1786; the 
second, John Henderson, surveyor, February 6, 1786; the third, Grilifth 
Evans, surveyor, December 28, 1785; the fourth, Andrew Henderson, sur- 
veyor, January 12, 1786; the fifth, Benjamin Lodge, surveyor, February 7, 
1786; the sixth, James Christy, surveyor, March 18, 1786; the seventh, 
William Power, surveyor, March 13, 1786; the eighth, Alexander McDowell, 
surveyor, February 15, 1786, and the tenth, David Watts, surveyor, February 
12, 1786. The ninth district is omitted from the above statement. The sur- 
veyor of that district, James Dickinson, does not appear to have reached the 
locality assigned to him until after the others had completed their work. He 
started some time in the fall of 1785 to make his surveys, and reached Ve- 
nango, at which point it seems he was deterred from proceeding any further 
by fear of trouble with the Indians. After a consultation with several Indian 
chiefs, he determined to return home without making any surveys in the 
district. His explanation of this default on his part is found in a letter to the 
surveyor-general, dated "Pits Burg, 24th January, 1786," (?) in which he 
gives a statement of his interview with the Indians, his address to them, and 
the answer of the Chief Whole Face. The letter of explanation and inter- 
view appear in Volume X., pages 740 and 741, Pennsylvania Archives, and 
reads as follows : 

" James Dickinson, to John Lukens : 

" Dear Sir, — ^Agreeably to Commission and Instructions for Surveying 
Donation Lands No. 9, District I proceeded on my Errand as far as Venango ; 
but not without hearing on my way a very great uneasiness among the Indians 
at the procedure of the State in the Purchase of those lands, whereupon I 
thought it necessary to stop there a few Days & consult some Indians Chief 
on the subject before I proceeded further where after with the advice of the 
Pittsburg Traders There, I sent for by a Runner Whole Face, The Corn 
Planter, & Long Hair, three Senica Chiefs who were then out a hunting, two 
Days March from Venango. Whole Face & Long Hair came in & the Corn 
Planter refused, — At their coming in by an interpreter Elijah Matthews I in- 
formed them my Errand, they returned for answer, they could not then give 
me an answer to my Proposal but would in a few Days ; I waited on them 4 
& then they gave me a Hearing, which was as follows Verbatim. — At Mr. 
Thomas Wilkey's store at Venango, Present Mr. Thomas Wilkey, Captain 
Jacob Springer & Elijah Matthews. — Indians, The Chiefs Whole Face & Long 
Hair, with seven others. — 

7 97 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" My Friend Mr. Whole Face, 

" I was sent here by the great Council of the State of Pennsylvania held 
at Philadelphia, to Measure some Lands a little to the Northward of this 
Place, which Land I am told the great Council had bought of our Brothers 
the Indians, whose sole Property they understood it to be — But on my way 
Here I was told the Indians were not well Pleased we should measure those 
Lands. I thought it therefore best to' stop with you a few Days in Order to 
know what your uneasiness was if in my Power to remove any obsticle in the 
Way; being fully assured the Great Council of the State would do every 
Thing on their side to keep alive Friendship, To maintain Peace, To Increase 
Friendship, To support a Union & to make Trade Flourish between their 
Brothers the Indians and themselves, as long as Time shall measure the rolling 
j'ear, & uttermostly endeavorer the Happiness of both Nations — Now my 
Brother and Brothers if there is any thing in the way of all these Things I 
have mentioned, I do wish & intreat you, to inform me frankly and if it can 
be in my power to serve to removing any such Thing as may obstruct our 
mutual Happiness, I shall always think myself happy of having it in my 
power so to do ; or if you think some other Person more suitable to represent 
this Matter should be glad it was soon done & your objections to my Errand 
sent to the great Council at Philada." 

To which Mr. Whole Face after consulting with the others gave the 
following answer: 

" Brother of the Big Knife, 

" Several Surveyors have been up here to Measure Lands the Last Sum- 
mer and have gone Home. We knew not what was their meaning, as none of 
them told us, but went on without so much as informing their Intent. When 
they came to our hunting Fires, we used them well without any Question & 
when they wanted any of our assistance we gave it freely. Many of our young 
Warriors are dissatisfied with (their) Conduct, who are in the English Interest 
and also with the Reward we received for the Lands Thinking it inadequate 
for so large a Body ; it not being one pair of Mokosons a piece ; they there- 
fore would advise me not to proceed on my Business and to inform the thir- 
teen Fires it was their opinion I was not safe to proceed, though they present 
would pledge their Faith for my safety against all Indians at Venango & the 
Hunters to the Southward of that place ; yet would not answer for it to the 
Northward, not even one Mile. That in the Spring as early as possible the 
six Nations would hold a great Council at Fort Pitt where & when they & all 
their Brethren hoped to make an endless Peace with their Brothers of the 
thirteen Fires & hoped till then I would put by every Thought of proceeding 
on my Errand as being very Dangerous ; & then they hoped every obstruction 
would be removed & we should walk the Woods together as Brothers aught 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

to do, in Love & Pleasure. And now my Brother tell your great Council of 
the thirteen Fires tis our Fault you do not go on and not yours. 

His 
" Segonkquas X 
mark 
His 
" Tests, " Conhonew X 

" Thos. Wilkins. mark 

" Jacob Springer. 
" Traders. 

" Elijah X. Matthews, Interpreter. 

" A true copy from the Original. 
" This Dear Sir, with much more was pronounced in words and gestures 
of much warmth & earnest which made me conclude to proceed no further 
& return — My feet being much bit with Frost detains my not coming at pres- 
ent, but will come down as soon as they are recovered a Little. In the mean 
time remain yours to serve with the utmost affection? 

" James Dickinson. 
" P. S. I have not wrote you the private conversation Directed. 

" To John Lukens, Esqr., Surveyor-General, Philadelphia." 

The explanation of Mr. Dickinson was not satisfactory, as will be seen 
by a reference to the proceedings of the Supreme Executive Council at meet- 
ings held in Philadelphia, March 9 and 10, 1786, to be found in Volume XIV., 
pages 653 and 654, Colonial Records. Among the proceedings of the 9th 
the following appears : " On consideration of the delinquency of James Dick- 
inson, a deputy-surveyor of donation lands, stated in a letter from Mr. Lukens, 
it was ordered. That he be removed from office, and that the surveyor-general 
proceed to nominate a successor thereto;" and on the following day we find 
that " Griffith Evans, Esquire, was appointed a -deputy-surveyor of donation 
lands, in the room of James Dickinson, removed by an order of yesterday." 
This accounts for the omission of surveys from the ninth district in the first 
returns made to the land-office, nor were any surveys for donation purposes 
subsequently made in the district. The reason for this may be found in a 
minute of the Supreme Executive Council, May 5, 1786, Volume XV., page 16, 
Colonial Records. The following appears among the proceedings of that day : 
" A memorial from sundry officers of the late Pennsylvania Line, stating that 
large bodies of excellent land remain yet unsurveyed on the waters of Beaver 
River, in the donation land, very far superior in value, quality, and situation, 
to the lands in district number nine, and praying that the number of lots de- 
signed for the ninth district may be surveyed on the aforesaid waters, by the 
surveyor appointed to said district, was read and referred to the surveyor- 

99 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

general, who is directed to comply with the prayer of the said petitiori." Ac- 
cordingly Griffith Evans, the successor of James Dickinson, immediately 
proceeded to locate the lots assigned to the ninth district in the unsurveyed 
parts of districts numbers one, two, and three, and on the 24th of July, 1786, 
made his returns to the land-office. The return of the surveys made by Mr. 
Evans, in districts one, two, and three, in place of those originally intended 
for the ninth district, completed the survey of all the districts and the con- 
nected drafts of each district, in a good state of preservation, are now remain- 
ing in the Department of Internal Affairs. The number of lots returned was 
slightly in excess of the number the surveyor-general was directed to have 
surveyed. There were two hundred lots of five hundred acres, one hundred 
of three hundred acres, two hundred of two hundred and fifty acres, and 
two thousand one hundred and seventy of two hundred acres, making two 
thousand six hundred and eighty lots comprising six hundred and sixteen 
thousand five hundred acres of land. Preparations were now begun for the 
distribution of the lots. The surveyor-general made his return to Council, and 
on the 31st day of August, 1786, the following order was placed upon the 
minutes : " Ordered, That the drawing of the lottery for, and the patenting of 
the said (donation) lots, shall commence on the first day of October next, to 
be continued one year from the 29th instant." The committee of members of 
the Supreme Executive Council selected to superintend the drawing of the 
lottery consisted of John Boyd, Jonathan Hoge, Stephen Ballitt, and William 
Brown, to which was shortly afterwards added Peter Muhlenberg and Samuel 
Dean. The records do not show definitely how many applicants availed them- 
selves of the privilege of drawing during the period first fixed for the lottery 
to remain open ; but evidently Lieutenant Joseph Collier was early on hand. 
He drew two lots of two hundred acres each, No. 97 in the first district and 
No. 1462 in the seventh district. A patent was issued to him on the 2d day 
of October, one day after the drawing began, and it was probably the first 
one granted. That a large number of claimants made their drawings during 
the first period is evident, however, from the number of patents that were 
granted after the opening in October, 1786, and during the year 1787, though 
it was found necessary as the closing day approached to grant an extension 
of time to enable other claimants to appear who had failed to do so. A minute 
of Council, of August 29, 1787, Volume XV., page 263, Colonial Records, 
reads as follows : " Whereas, It is represented to this Board that there are 
many of the line of the State intitled to land that have not yet appeared by 
themselves or sent orders to draw for their lots; and by resolve of the 
board of the 31st of August, 1786, they will be precluded unless the time 
be prolonged so as to include one year from the commencement of drawing; 
therefore. Resolved, That the lottery continue open for applicants until the 
first day of October next, and this resolution be published, so that all con- 
cerned may have noticte thereof." 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

The time was again extended for a period of one year by an act passed 
on the 13th of September, 1788, and by subsequent legislative enactments 
there were numerous extensions, some of the acts making them also providing 
for the proper authentication of claims, and for other purposes affecting the 
rights of claimants. The extensions of time in which to present applications 
really continued under the various laws until April i, 1810, which was the 
last limit of time fixed, and from that day the offices were closed against any 
further applications. 

Owing to the uncertainty which existed in regard to the northern boun- 
dary of the State when the tenth district was surveyed, a serious mistake 
occurred in the location of a large number of lots in that district. It was dis- 
covered after the boundary line between Pennsylvania and New York had 
been located in 1787, that many of the lots fell within the State of New York. 
This mistake involved * one hundred and twenty lots that were wholly or in 
part within that State, thirty-one of them lying within the Erie triangle, which 
did not become a part of Erie County, Pennsylvania, until 1792. Nearly the 
entire number of these lots had been drawn from the lottery wheels by persons 
whose claims had been established, and patents had been granted to them 
before the error in the surveys became known. In order that such persons 
should not suffer by an unfortunate and mistaken location of the land they 
had drawn, and thus be deprived of the reward promised to them, the General 
Assembly on the 30th day of September, 1791, passed a law for their relief. 
The first section of the act provided that the surveyor-general should ascertain 
and report to the governor the number of patents that had fallen within the 
State of New York, together with the number of acres contained in each 
patent and the names of the persons to whom such patents were issued, which 
report was to be printed in three newspapers in Philadelphia, with notice to 
all persons concerned to apply before the first day of December following to 
the surveyor-general, who was authorized to ascertain by lot the order of 
priority by which such persons should choose other lots. The second section 
provided that applicants should in their order of priority choose other lots 
out of any of the surveyed tracts not otherwise disposed of within any of the 
donation districts. The third section, that after such persons had made their 
choice, patents should be granted to them without fees, on the surrender for 
cancellation of the patents previously granted to them. They were also 

* The estimate of the authorities at the time was that one hundred and forty 
lots fell wholly within the State of New York and twenty-three partly so, making one 
hundred and sixty-three in all. This was an overestimate. An actual count of the lots 
as laid down in the map of the district, if the line drawn thereon is correct, shows the 
number affected by the mistake to have been as above stated. It was also afterwards 
discovered that a number of lots that had been drawn and released as lying in New York 
were found to be wholly in Pennsylvania, a fact shown in the preamble of an act passed 
April 2, 1802. 

lOI 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

required to give quit claims to the Commonwealth for compensation on account 
of any losses they may have suffered. This act was followed by another on 
the loth of April, 1792, extending the limit of time fixed for receiving appli- 
cations from December i, 1791, to July i, 1792, and directing the report of the 
surveyor-general to be printed in newspapers of Philadelphia, Lancaster, York, 
Chambersburg, Harrisburg, Carlisle, and Pittsburg, with notice that applica- 
tion must be made within the time designated. Other legislation for the pur- 
pose of fully indemnifying the persons who held patents to these lots, and 
to secure to them all the benefits to which they were entitled under the acts 
of March 12, 1783, and March 24, 1785, followed the acts above mentioned. 
The acts of April 5, 1793, and February 23, 1801, were of that character. In 
the last act the comptroller-general was directed to furnish to the secretary 
of the land-office a list of the names of such persons whose lots fell outside 
of the State as had received no equivalent. It also provided that applica- 
tions under the act should be made within three years by the applicant per- 
sonally, his widow or children, or by his, her, or their attorney. When made 
by an attorney he was " to declare under oath or affirmation that he had no 
interest in the claim otherwise than to serve the applicant." The Board of 
Property was given power to act in all cases of dispute between applicants, 
and when lots were drawn the secretary of the land-office was directed to 
grant patents under the inspection of the Board of Property in the same 
manner as was formerly done by the Supreme Executive Council. There was 
no further legislation with special reference to the lots that were surveyed 
within the State of New York. Under the provisions of the laws recited the 
claims of all applicants who drew such lots were received when made within 
the limit of time prescribed, and properly adjusted. 

Another difficulty arose in relation to a large number of the lots surveyed 
in the second district because of the alleged inferior quality of the land laid 
off by the surveyor, John Henderson. In his notes and observations General 
Irvine says, in reference to the character of the country which became part 
of that district, that " East of this path * along Mr. McLane's line for five 
or six miles, the land is pretty level, well watered with small springs, and of 
tolerable quality, but from thence to the Allegheny River which is about 
twenty-five miles due east, there is no land worth mentioning fit for culti- 
vation." As it was the expressed intention of the General Assembly when the 
donation was made that only the best lands within the territory set apart by 
law should be surveyed for the purpose of the donation, it was thought wrong 
that so laudable a design on the part of the law-makers should be defeated 
by giving lands that could not be cultivated. The attention of the surveyor- 
general had early been called to the poor quality of the land in this district 
by General Irvine. In a letter to General Armstrong, dated at Carlisle, July 



* The path leading from Fort Pitt to Venango. 
102 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

1 8, 1786, he recommended that all the surveys made by John Henderson be 
rejected by Council, and that Major Alexander be appointed to lay off an 
equal number of lots in other parts of the reserved tracts without being con- 
fined to any particular district. He further says in the same letter, " If the 
surveyor-general has not found my letter in which I complained of John Hen- 
derson's surveys as improper to be accepted — he has had sufficient verbal 
testimony as well from me as sundry other persons to justify his informing 
Council that the land is not such as the Assembly intended the troops should 
get, or they could possibly think of receiving, particularly as he surveyed all 
bad and left a large quantity of good land within his district." The views of 
General Irvine were not fully adopted, though his representations did to a 
certain extent influence the action of Council. In the preparations for the 
drawing of the lottery, one hundred and thirty-four tracts of two hundred 
acres each, lying in the eastern part of the district, nearest to the Allegheny 
River, and now part of Butler County, were stricken from the scheme, and 
the numbers representing the tracts not placed in the wheels. By this action 
of Council the district became known as the " Struck District" and was ever 
after so called. The struck numbers remained out of the wheel until after 
the act of April 2, 1802, the title of which was " An Act to complete the 
benevolent intention of the Legislature of this Commonwealth, by distributing 
the donation lands to all who are entitled thereto," became a law. The pre- 
amble to this act set forth that some of the officers and soldiers of the Penn- 
sylvania Line had not received their donation land, and that it was represented 
that among the lots in the tenth district, for which the owners had received 
patents and which they had released as being in the State of New York, and 
received other lots in lieu thereof, many were still in Pennsylvania, and also 
that there were a number of other lots within the bounds of the donated sur- 
veys not numbered, returned, or otherwise appropriated. Under this act it 
was made the duty of the land officers to ascertain the number of such lots of 
each description that remained undrawn and not otherwise appropriated, or 
which, having been drawn, had not been applied for within the time prescribed 
by law, and to cause numbers corresponding to each lot to be made and placed 
in the wheels from which they were to draw on application being made to 
them by persons entitled to the donation. Acting under this law the Board 
of Property, which by this section of the same act was given the same powers 
relative to donation lands that it exercised over other lands within the Com- 
monwealth, decided to include the lots of the " Struck District," and put 
corresponding numbers in the wheels. These numbers remained in the wheels 
until the act of March 25, 1805, directing them to be withdrawn and not again 
put in. During the years 1803-4-5, many of the lots had been drawn, and 
patents for them granted, in some instances causing trouble and litigation. 
Presuming the lands in the eastern part of the district to be vacant and open 
to settlement and improvement under the act of April 3, 1792, many settlers 

103 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

had gone into the locaHty and made valuable improvements that interfered 
with the surveys of the donation lots, thus, of course, involving patentees of 
donation land and actual settlers in disputes and expensive law-suits. To pre- 
vent such undesirable and unfortunate results the act of 1805 was passed. 
The tickets were taken out of the wheels as directed by the law, and the un- 
drawn lots of the " Struck District" thereafter remained a part of the unappro- 
priated lands north and west of the Ohio and Allegheny Rivers and Cone- 
wango Creek open to sale and settlement. 

In order to enable the land ofificers and the Board of Property to execute 
the duties enjoined upon them by the act of 1802, the Secretary of the Com- 
monwealth was directed to transfer all records relating to the donation lands 
to the surveyor-general's office, and by the same act the Board of Property 
was authorized to direct patents to be issued to the widow, heir, or heirs of any 
deceased officer or soldier on satisfactory proof of their right being made. 

The act of March 24, 1785, seemed to require the beneficiaries under its 
provisions to participate in the drawing in person. To do so was no doubt a 
serious inconvenience to many, while others, who could not afford the expense 
of a journey to Philadelphia, would be entirely deprived of the benefits of the 
act. Be this as it may, it was soon discovered that many persons had not 
received their land, and in consequence of this condition of the distribution, the 
Legislature, by an act passed April 6, 1792, directed the land officers, on the 
2d day of July following, to draw lots for every person entitled to donation 
land who had not received the same, agreeably to the list submitted by the 
comptroller to the Supreme Executive Council, the same as if the person thus 
entitled to land was present; and the patents were to be granted to such 
persons or their legal representatives as in other cases. It was also ascertained 
that there were other persons who had served in the Pennsylvania Line enti- 
tled to the donation, but whose names, from some unexplained cause, did not 
appear in the list prepared by the comptroller-general in 1786. To remedy 
this defect and enable these persons to receive their quota of land, the Legis- 
lature passed an important act relating to them on the 17th of April, 1795. 
This act directed the comptroller-general to prepare a complete list of such 
persons entitled to lands whose names were not included in the first list, 
together with their rank and the quantity of land each should receive. This 
list was to be transmitted to the surveyor-general, the receiver-general, and 
the secretary of the land-office, and it was made their duty then to employ 
a suitable person to prepare tickets and place them in wheels in the same 
manner as had been done for the first drawing. No greater number of tickets 
were to be placed in the wheel than would give to each his quantity of land. 
After these preparations were complete the claimants could attend the drawing 
in person to draw their lots, or authorize an agent to draw for them, and for 
such persons as did not attend in person, or by agent, the surveyor-general, 
receiver-general, and secretary of the land-office were authorized to draw! 

104 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

When the drawing was finished a report was to be made to the governor, who 
was directed to prepare and deliver the patents at the expense of the State. 
The legal representatives of deceased persons entitled to the J)enefits of the act 
were permitted to draw lots, or have lots drawn for them, the same as such 
deceased persons might have done if living. The time allowed for making 
application under the act was one year from its passage, with a proviso that 
persons " beyond sea, or out of the United States," shall have two years, and 
persons serving in the army of the United States at the time of its passage 
should have three years, of which the surveyor-general was to give notice for 
six weeks in one of the newspapers of Philadelphia, and in one in each county 
of the State in which newspapers were published. This was followed by an 
act passed April ii, 1799, providing among other things for the authentica- 
tion of claims by the comptroller-general, register-general, and State treasurer, 
who were to inquire into their lawfulness, ascertain whether they remained 
unsatisfied, and in each case to transmit to the secretary of the land-office a 
certificate stating whether the claim should be allowed or rejected, the cer- 
tificate to be conclusive. After 1805, aside from a number of acts granting 
donations of land to certain individuals for special reasons, there was no 
further legislation in reference to these lands of any importance. A question 
of succession had arisen in the case of an officer who had been killed in the 
service. He was unmarried, and the land that fell to his share was claimed 
by a brother as heir-at-law. The Supreme Court decided the claim to be 
good. The Legislature then, on the nth of March, 1809, passed an act that 
no patent was thereafter to issue for donation lands except to the widow or 
children of any deceased officer or soldier who died or was killed in service. 

There had been extensions of the time for filing applications, year by 
year, until the final limitation as fixed in the previous year, expired on the 
1st day of April, 1810. No further applications were received after that date, 
though patents for lots that had previously been drawn continued to be freely 
granted for some years longer. After the drawing had been closed, there still 
remained in the wheels a number of undrawn tickets, and by the act of March 
26, 1813, the Legislature made provision for the sale and settlement of such 
of them as should remain undrawn on the ist day of October following. It 
was provided that a person who had made an improvement and settlement, 
resided with his family on the lot three years previous to the passing of the 
act, and cleared, fenced, and cultivated at least ten acres of ground; or a 
person who should after the ist day of October make an improvement and 
actual settlement by erecting a dwelling-house, reside with a family on the 
lot three years from the date of that settlement, and clear, fence, and cultivate 
at least ten acres of ground, could receive a patent for such donation lot, by 
paying into the State treasury at the rate of one dollar and fifty cents an acre 
with interest from three years after the settlement was made, and the usual 
office fees. The settlement first made and continued, or thereafter made and 

los 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

continued, gave an inception of title to the person making it. These terms 
are somewhat similar in character to those provided in act of April 3, 1792, 
for the sale of the. unappropriated parts of the lands lying vi^ithin the donation 
districts, except that the price fixed for such lands was only twenty cents an 
acre. This difference in price must be accounted for in the supposition that 
the lands surveyed for the soldiers were far superior in quality to the other 
unappropriated parts of the territory originally set apart for donation pur- 
poses. The price for the undrawn lots continued to be one dollar and fifty 
cents an acre until February 25, 18 19, when it was reduced to fifty cents an 
acre. The rate of fifty cents was continued until March 31, 1845, at which 
time the terms were made in all respects the same as for other vacant lands 
in the same districts. 

This concludes the sketch of the Donation Lands of Pennsylvania and 
the mode in which they were allotted and conveyed to the persons who came 
within the provisions of the grant ; and we trust it may prove of some interest 
to the readers of this report. The benefaction was a most worthy and patriotic 
one to a line of gallant soldiers who served their country well, and endured 
much in aiding to achieve liberty for the American colonies, from which has 
since grown our mighty and beneficent American republic. The Pennsyl- 
vania Line was an important factor in producing grand results, and rewards 
to such soldiers were well bestowed. 

" Legally, there never was any such thing as the Holland Land Com- 
pany, or the Holland Company, as they were usually called. 

" The company consisted of Wilhelm Willink and eleven associates, mer- 
chants and capitalists of the city of Amsterdam, who placed funds in the 
hands of friends who were citizens of America to purchase a million acres of 
land in Pennsylvania, which, being aliens, the Hollanders could not hold in 
their names at that time ; and in pursuance of the trust created, there were 
purchased, both in New York and Pennsylvania, immense tracts of land, all 
managed by the same general agent at Philadelphia. 

"The names of the several persons interested in these purchases, and 
who composed the Holland Land Company, so called, were as follows : Wil- 
helm Willink, Nicholas Van Staphorst, Pieter Van Eeghen, Hendrick VoUen- 
hoven, and Ruter Jan Schimmelpenninck. Two years later the five proprietors 
transferred a tract of about one million acres, so that the title vested in the 
original five, and also in Wilhelm Willink, Jr., Jan Willink, Jr., Jan Gabriel 
Van Staphorst, Roelif Van Staphorst, Jr., Cornelius Vollenhoven, and Hen- 
drick Seye.'' 



106 



CHAPTER VI 



PIONEER ANIMALS BEAVERS, BUFFALOES, ELKS, PANTHERS, WOLVES, WILD- 
CATS, BEARS, AND OTHER ANIMALS — HABITS, ETC. PENS AND TRAPS — 

BIRDS WILD BEES 

" Nature is a story-book 
That God hath written for you." 

The mountainous character of this northwest and the dense forests that 
covered almost its whole area made the region a favorite haunt of wild beasts. 
Many of them have disappeared, and it is difficult to believe that animals 
now extinct on the continent at large were once numerous within the boun- 
daries of this territory. 

The beaver, the buffalo, the elk, and the deer were probably the most 
numerous of the animals. " Beaver will not live near man, and at an early 
period after the settlement of this State these animals withdrew into the 
secluded regions and ultimately entirely disappeared." The last of them 
known in this State made their homes in the great " Flag Swamp," or Beaver 
Meadow, of Clearfield County, now about and above Du Bois City. 

LITTLE CHANGE AMONG BEAVERS 

Those who have made them a study assert that, with the exception of 
man, no other animal now upon the earth has undergone so little change in 
size and structure as the beaver. Fossil deposits show that in its present 
form it is at least contemporaneous with and probably antedates the mammoth 
and the other monsters that once roamed the great forests of the earth. The 
skeletons of beavers found in this country are the same as those of the same 
species found in the fossil beds of Europe. Man is the only other mammal of 
which this is true. How the beaver came to traverse the ocean has never 

been explained. 

" Coarse-fibred, cautious in its habits, warmly protected by nature against 
climatic influences, simple and hearty in its diet, wise beyond all other forms 
of lower animal life, prolific and heedful of its young, the beaver has seen 
changes in the whole function of the world and the total disappearance of 
countless species of animal and vegetable life. 

"The beaver mates but once, and then for a lifetime. There are no 
divorces, and, so far as has been observed, no matings of beavers who have 

107 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

lost their mates by death. Young beavers are given a place in the family 
lodge until they are two years old, and are then turned out to find mates and 
homes for themselves. The age of the beaver is from twelve to sixteen years. 

" No other animal has excited so much interest by his home-making and 
home-guarding as this. ' Wisest of Wild Folk' is the English equivalent for 
his name in the tongue of the Ojibways. 

" Originally a mere burrower in the earth, like his cousins the hedge-hog 
and the porcupine, he has so improved upon natural conditions that only man 
is able to reach him in his abiding-places. Indeed, he approaches man in the 
artificial surroundings that he has adopted for self-preservation. 

" The principal engineering and structural works of the beaver are the 
dam, the canal, the meadow, the lodge, the burrow, and the slide. These are 
not always found together and some of them are rare." 

THEY FORM AN INTERESTING STORY 

" Beaver-dams have been found which have been kept in repair by beavers 
for centuries. It is not unusual to find them more than fifty feet long and so 




•^'^^(^e^=- 



solid that they will support horses and wagons. Fallen trees that have been 
cut down by the sharp teeth of the beavers are sometimes the foundation. 
More often branches and a great heap of small stones make the beginning. 

" The side toward the water is of mud and pebbles smoothly set by the 
use of the broad, paddle-like tail of the animal. Interlaced branches and poles 
make a substantial backing for the earth. A growth of underbrush caps the 
whole. 

" The dam is built for two reasons— to afford a retreat where the home- 
lovmg beaver may rest safe from his enemies of the forest, particularly the 
wolvermes, and to give a depth of water that will not freeze to the bottom 
A total freeze would effectually lock him in his home and be the cause of 
death by starvation. 

io8 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" The dam, in a temperate climate, is usually about four feet deep. It 
curves up-stream when of great length. Upon the highest part of the sub- 
merged area the beaver builds his lodge. This is practically an island capped 
by a wigwam made of sticks and earth. The outer roof of hardened mud is 
repaired at the beginning of every winter, and the ceiling of scaling wood 
and dry earth is removed and taken out of the lodge every spring. Indeed, 
the beaver is the neatest of housekeepers, only the household nests of dry 
leaves and sap-bearing wood enough for each meal being allowed within his 
home. 

" Two passages lead from the floor of the lodge into the water. One of 
these is wide and straight. Through it the members of the family bring the 
twigs and roots for their meals. The second passage is narrow and winding, 
and through it the beavers disappear at the first sign of danger. 

" The burrows are made in the banks of the artificial lake created by the 
dam. The entrances to them are beneath the surface of the water. They 
slope upward with the bank, and, like the lodge, end in snug, dry homes above 
the water level. The celibate beavers live entirely in burrows; the families 
in both lodges and burrows. 

" To guard against the flooding of their homes the beavers provide out- 
lets for the surplus water. Sometimes the upper part of the dam is purposely 
left thin and the water trickles through in a steady stream. Where the bank 
is thick and impervious an overflow gully is cut in its summit, and through 
this the surplus p'asses. 

" Beaver meadows are made by the rotting and cutting away of timbers 
within the area of partial flooding. With the passing of the larger vegetation 
comes a smaller growth of water grasses, upon which the beavers thrive. 

" The wonderful beaver canals are streams several feet in width leading 
from the artificial lake made by the dam into the forest. Upon these the wise 
little animals float heavy saplings and branches that they would otherwise be 
unable to transport to the face of the dam. 

" The slides are skidways made by beavers down the sides of high, steep 
banks. Trees and stones are rolled down these for use in home-making. 

" In carrying earth, stones, and sticks on land the beaver uses his fore- 
feet as we do our hands, holding what he carries tightly against his throat. 
In swimming the use of the front feet is unnecessary. He is enabled to hold 
a heavy branch in front of his breast and to swim swiftly with his tail and his 
powerful hind feet. 

" Most affectionate and intelligent as a pet is the beaver when taken 
young. When annoyed it gives a querulous cry, like that of an infant. Its 
beautiful thick coat of reddish brown fur makes it the prey of the trapper. 

" Beavers, when caught in traps by the forelegs, almost invariably wrench 
themselves free, leaving the member in the trap. Many of the pelts brought 
into the market have one leg and occasionally two legs missing. 

109 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" Although their sense of sight is deficient, those of scent and hearing are 
abnormally developed. The work of construction and repair upon the dams 
is always done at night, the workers occasionally stoppmg to listen for sus- 
picious sounds. The one who hears anything to excite his alarm dives in- 
stantly, and as he disappears gives warning to his comrades by striking his 
broad, flat tail upon the surface of the water. The sound rivals a pistol-shot 
in its alarming \ondntss."— Philadelphia North American. 

" The beaver is really a sort of portable pulp-mill, grinding up most any 
kind of wood that comes in his way. I once measured a white birch-tree, 
twenty-two inches through, cut down by a beaver. A single beaver generally, 
if not always, fells the tree, and when it comes down the whole family fall to 
and have a regular frolic with the bark and branches. A big beaver will bring 
down a fair-sized sapling, say three inches through, in about two minutes, and 
a large tree in about an hour. 

" One of the queerest facts about the beaver is the rapidity with which 
his long, chisel-like teeth will recover from an injury." 

William Dixon killed a beaver in 1840, near what is now called Sabula, or 
Summit Tunnel, Clearfield County. This was perhaps the last one killed in 

the State. 

A beaver was reported killed in 1884 on Pine Creek, in Clinton County. 
It was said to have been chased there from Potter County. 

Beavers have four young at a litter, and they are born with eyes open. 

THE AMERICAN BISON, OR BUFFALO 

Centuries ago herds of wild buffaloes fed in our valleys and on our hills. 
Yes, more, the " buffalo, or American bison, roamed in great droves over the 
meadows and uplands from the Susquehanna to Lake Erie," but none north of 
Lake Erie. 

The peculiar distinction of our buffalo was a hump over his shoulders. 
His eye was black, his horns black and thick near the head, tapering rapidly 
to a point. His face looked ferocious, yet he was not so dangerous as an elk 
or deer. The sexual season of the bison was from July to September ; after 
this month the cows ranged in herds by themselves, calved in April, and the 
calves followed the mother from one to three years. The males fought terrible 
battles among themselves. The Atlantic seaboards were exceptionally free 
from them. The flesh of the cow was delicious food, and the hump especially 
was considered a great delicacy. At what time they were driven from north- 
ern Pennsylvania is not known, but two or three hundred years ago the north- 
west was alive with them. 

" Twenty-five or thirty years ago these animals, whose flesh was an im- 
portant and much prized article of food, the tail especially, and whose pelts 
were in great demand for robes, buffalo overshoes, and garments to protect 
both the civilized and uncivilized races from the piercing winter's blasts, were 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

found on our western prairies in countless thousands. To-day, owing to the 
cruel, wasteful, and greedy skin and meat hunters, there are not, it is asserted, 
any buffaloes in a wild state in the United States. According to a recent 
published report, between the years i860 and 1882 more than fifteen million 
buffaloes were killed within the limits of the United States." Buffaloes and 
elks used the same trails and feeding-grounds. 

The American elk was widely distributed in this section in 1794. The 
habitat of this noble game was the forest extending across the northern 
part of the State. These animals were quite numerous in the thirties. 

" When I started, in 1826, to amuse and profit myself by following the 
chase in Northern Pennsylvania," said Colonel Parker, of Gardeau, McKean 
County, Pennsylvania, " elks were running in those woods in herds. I have 




-i«**S.^«>aw^(»i**>" 






Buffalo 



killed elks a plenty in the Rocky Mountain country and other regions since, 
but I never ran across any that were as big as those old-time Pennsylvania 
elks. I have killed elks on the Sinnemahoning and Pine Creek waters, and 
down on the Clarion River and West Branch, that were as big as horses. A 
one-thousand-pound elk was nothing uncommon in that country, and I killed 
one once that weighed twelve hundred pounds. These were bucks. The does 
would weigh anywhere from six hundred to eight hundred pounds. 

" These elks had very short and thick necks, with a short and upright 
mane. Their ears were of enormous size, so large, in fact, that once Sterling 
Devins, a good hunter, too, saw a doe elk in the woods on Pine Hill, near Ole 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

Bull's castle, in the times when elks had begun to grow scarce, and passed 
without shooting at it, thinking it was a mule. When the elk bounded away, 
though, and disappeared among the thick timber. Sterling knew what it was, 
and felt like kicking himself harder than the elk could have kicked him, even 
if it had been a mule. 

"The Pennsylvania elk's eyes were small, but sparkled like jewels. I 
have often seen a score or more pairs of these bright eyes shining in the dark 
recesses of the pine-forest, when the shadows might have otherwise obscured 
the presence there of the owners of those telltale orbs. An infuriated buck 
elk's eye was about as fearful a thing to look at as anything well imaginable, 
but so quickly changeable was the nature of these huge beasts that two hours 
after having captured with ropes one that had, from the vantage ground 
of his rock, gored and trampled the life out of a half-dozen of dogs, and 
well-nigh overcome the attacking hunters, it submitted to being harnessed to 
an improvised sled and unresistingly hauled a load of venison upon it six 
miles through the woods to my cabin, and took its place among the cattle with 
as docile an air as if it had been born and brought up among them. 

" This same elk that Sterling Devins had mistaken for a mule, he and 
Ezra Prichard followed all the next day, but lost its trail. Some Pine Creek 
hunters got on its trail, drove it to its rock, and roped it. When Devins and 
Prichard got back at night they found the Pine Creek hunters there and the 
elk in the barn eating hay and entirely at home. That elk had quite an inter- 
esting subsequent history. Ezra Prichard had, previous to the capture of 
this one, secured a pair of elks, broke them, and for a long time drove them 
in farm work like a yoke of oxen. Sterling Devins was eager for a yoke of 
elk, and he offered the Pine Creek hunters one hundred dollars for the one 
they had captured. They refused the offer, but afterwards got into a dispute 
about its ownership, and it was sold to Bill Stowell and John Sloanmaker, of 
Jersey Shore. These men took the elk about the country, exhibiting it, and 
made quite a sum of money. Next fall, although the elk was a doe, it became 
very ugly and attacked its keeper, nearly killing him before he could get away. 
No one could go near her, and her owners ordered her shot. The carcass was 
bought by a man who had a fine pair of elk horns. He was a skilful taxider- 
mist, and he managed to fasten the horns to the head of the doe elk in such 
a manner that no one was ever able to tell that they hadn't grown there. This 
made of the head an apparently magnificent head of a buck elk, and it was 
purchased for one hundred dollars, under that belief, by a future governor 
of Pennsylvania." 

LAST ELK IN THE PINE CREEK REGION 

" That doe elk was one of the last family of elks in the Pine Creek country. 
She and the buck and a fawn had been discovered some time before Sterling 
Devins ran across the doe, by Leroy Lyman, on Tomer's run, near the Ole 
Bull settlement. Lyman got a shot at the buck, but the whole three escaped. 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

The same party of hunters that captured the doe killed the buck afterwards 
in the woods on Kettle Creek. The fawn the dogs ran into Stowell's mill- 
pond, and there it was killed. 

" Another peculiarity of the elks that used to frequent the Pennsylvania 
woods was the great size of their nostrils, and the keenness of their scent was 
something beyond belief. A set of elk antlers of five feet spread, and weighing 
from forty to fifty pounds, was not an infrequent trophy. George Rae, who 
was one of the great hunters of Northern Pennsylvania in his day, — and he is 
one of the greatest in the Rocky Mountains even to. this day, in spite of his 
eighty-five years, — lived along the Allegheny at Portville. He had in his 
house, and in his barn, the walls almost covered with the antlers of elks he had 
killed, on the peak of his roof, at one end, being one that measured nearly six 
feet between the extremities. When George moved West forty years ago he 
left the horns on the buildings, and only a few years ago many of them were 
still there, as reminders of what game once roamed our woods. 

" It required more skill to hunt the elk than it did to trail the deer, as 
they were much more cautious and alert. For all that, an elk, when startled 
from his bed, did not instantly dash away, like the deer, but invariably looked 
to see what had aroused him. Then, if he thought the cause boded him no 
good, away he went, not leaping over the brush, like the deer, but, with his 
head thrown back, and his great horns almost covering his body, plunging 
through the thickets, his big hoofs clattering together like castanets as he 
went. The elk did not go at a galloping gait, but travelled at a swinging 
trot that carried him along at amazing speed. He never stopped until he had 
crossed water, when his instinct seemed to tell him that the scent of his trail 
was broken before the pursuing dogs. 

" At the rutting season the elk, both male and female, was fearless and 
fierce, and it behooved the hunter to be watchful. • An elk surprised at this 
season did not wait for any overt act on the part of an enemy, but was in- 
stantly aggressive. One blow from an elk's foot would kill a wolf or a dog, 
and I have more than once been forced to elude an elk by running around 
trees, jumping from one to another before the bulky beast, unable to make the 
turns quick enough, could recover himself and follow me too closely to prevent 
it, thus making my way by degrees to a safe refuge. I was once treed by a 
buck elk not half a mile from home, and kept there from noon until night 
began to fall. I haven't the least doubt that he would have kept me there all 
night if another buck hadn't bugled a challenge from a neighboring hill, and 
my buck hurried away in answer to it. I didn't wait to see it, but there was 
a great fight between those two bucks that night. 

" I visited the spot the next day. The ground was torn up and the sap- 
lings broken down for rods around, and one old buck lay in the brush dead, 
his body covered with bloody rips and tears. I didn't know whether this was 
the elk that treed me or not, but I have always been fond of believing it was. 
8 "3 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" The whistle of the buck elk, as the hunters used to call it, wasn't a 
whistle, although there were changes in it that gave it something of a flute-like 
sound. The sound was more like the notes of a bugle. In making it the buck 
threw back his head, swelled his throat and neck to an enormous size, and with 



■f^j^s'^ 




that as a bellows he blew from his open mouth the sound that made at once his 
challenge or call for a mate. The sound was far-reaching, and, heard at a 
distance, was weird and uncanny, yet not unmusical. Near by it was rasping 
and harsh, with the whistling notes prominent. 

114 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

■■ The Pennsylvania elks were never much scattered. When I first came 
to the Sinnemahoning country, nearly seventy years ago, the salt marsh that lay 
in the wilderness where my residence now is was trampled over by herds of 
elks and deer that came there to lick the salt from the ground as if a drove of 
cattle had been there. I have seen seventy-five elks huddled at that marsh. 
That was ' the great elk lick' of legend, which the reservation Indians have 
often talked to me about when I lived in Allegheny County, New York, as a 
boy, and it was to find that lick that my father and I, following the rather 
indefinite directions of one Johnnyhocks, an old Shongo Indian, entered the 
Pennsylvania wilderness in 1826." 

A TOUGH OLD BUCK 

" To follow an elk forty miles before running it down was considered 
nothing remarkable. I have done it many a time. Leroy Lyman, Jack Lyman, 
and A. H. Goodsell once started on an elk-hunt from Roulette, Potter County, 
struck the trail at the head of West Creek, in McKean County, thirty miles 
from Roulette, followed it through Elk, Clarion, and Clearfield Counties, and 
finally drove it to its rock eighty or ninety miles from where the trail was 
first struck. They had followed the elk many days, and finally the quarry was 
found, — an enormous buck, — with a spread of horns like a young maple-tree. 
The hunters ran out of rations the second day, and were nearly starved when 
they ran the elk to its rock. All three of them put a bullet in the defiant elk 
and ended his career. Visions of elk-meat for supper had haunted the fam- 
ished hunters, and when the buck fell they shouted for joy. Without delay 
they started in to carve expected juicy morsels from the carcass to cook for 
supper, but there was not a knife or a hunting-axe in that party that could 
make an impression on the old fellow's flesh. He was a patriarch of the 
woods, and long past use as food. All the starving hunters could manage to 
make edible of the elk was his tongue, which, roasted, was a grateful offering 
to hungry men, but would have been impossible of mastication otherwise. 
The horns were the only trophy that the hunters got from the long and 
tedious chase, and that trophy was well worth it. It was the largest and next 
to the finest pair of antlers ever carried by an elk in the Pennsylvania forest, 
so far as there is any record." 

THE ELK vs. WOLVES 

" There are scattered through the woods, generally high on the hills, 
from the Allegheny River down to the West Branch and Clarion River, huge 
rocks, some detached boulders, and other projections of ledges. These are 
known as elk rocks, and every one of them has been, in its day, the last resort 
of some elks brought to bay after a long and hard chase. It was the habit of 
the hunted elk, when it had in vain sought to throw the hunter and hound 
from the trail, to make its stand at one of these rocks. Mounting it, and facing 

"S 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

its foes, it fiercely fought off the assaults of the dogs by blows of his forefeet 
or tremendous kicks from its hind feet, until the hunter came up and ended 
the fight with his rifle. It would be strange if one or more of the dogs were 
not stretched dead at the foot of the rock by the time the hunter arrived on 
the scene. I have more than once found dead wolves lying about one of these 
elk rocks, telling mutely, but eloquently, the tragic story of the pursuit of the 
elk by the wolves, his coming to bay on the rock, the battle, and the elk's 
victory. The elk was not always victor, though, in such battles with wolves, 
and I have frequently found the stripped skeleton of one lying among the 
skeletons of wolves he had killed before being himself vanquished by their 
savage and hungry fellows. 

" In the winter time the elks would gather in large herds and their range 
would be exceedingly limited. Sometimes they would migrate to other 
regions, and would not be seen for months in their haunts, but suddenly they 
would return and be as plentiful as ever. They had their regular paths or 
runways through the woods, and these invariably led to salt licks, of which 
there were many natural ones in Northern Pennsylvania. One of the most 
frequented of these elk paths started in a dense forest, where the town of 
Ridgway, the county seat of Elk County, now stands, led to the great lick on 
the Sinnemahoning portage, and thence through the forest to another big lick, 
which to-day is covered by Washington Park, in the city of Bradford. I have 
followed that elk path its whole length, when the only sign of civilization 
was now and then a hunter's cabin, from the head-waters of the Clarion River 
to the Allegheny, in McKean County. Hundreds of elks were killed annually 
at the licks or while travelling to and from them, along their well-marked 
runways." 

HUNTING ELKS AT NIGHT 

" Hunting elks by night was an exciting sport. You have heard of per- 
sons being scared by their own shadows. If you had ever hunted a Pennsyl- 
vania elk at night you would have had an opportunity of seeing something 
scared by its own shadow, and scared badly. A blazing pine-knot fire would 
be lighted in the bow of a flat-bottomed boat, and while one man sat near that 
end with his rifle, another paddled it through the water. Elks were always 
sure to be standing in the water early in the evening, after darkness had fully 
set in. When the light of the fire fell on an elk you would not only see his 
eyes shining like coals, but the whole big spectral spread of his antlers would 
stand out against the darkness— not only the horns of one, but of perhaps 
half a dozen. When the hunter fired at one elk all the others would make a 
break for shore, but the instant they landed, their great black shadows would 
fall before them from the light of the blazing fires, and back they would rush 
m terror to the water. Then a hunter might kill every elk in the herd, or 
several of them, before their fright at the gun overcame the terror of 'the 
shadow and the survivors fled to the impenetrable darkness of the woods. 

ii6 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" The biggest set of elk antlers ever captured in the Pennsylvania woods 
was secured in the Kettle Creek country by Major Isaac Lyman, Philip Tome, 
George Ayres, L. D. Spoflfard, and William Wattles. Philip Tome was a 
great hunter, and the famous interpreter for Cornplanter and Blacksnake, the 
great Indian chiefs. He came over from Warren County to help Major 
Lyman capture an elk alive, and the party started in on the first snow, with 
plenty of ropes and things. They camped, but the elks were in such big herds 
that they couldn't get a chance at a single buck for more than a week. Then 
they got the biggest one they ever saw and gave chase to him. They started 
him from his bed on Yocum hill. The dogs took him down Little Kettle 
Creek to Big Kettle, and up that two or three miles. There the elk came to 
bay on a rock. He kept the dogs at a distance until the hunters came up, 
when he left the rock and started away again. Tome, knowing the nature of 
elk, said that all they had to do was to wait and the elk would return to the 
rock. They dropped poles and fitted up nooses. They waited nearly half a 
day, and then they heard the buck coming crashing through the woods, down 
the mountain-sides, the dogs in full cry. He mounted his rock again. The 
hunters he did not seem to mind, but the dogs he fought fiercely. While he 
was doing that the hunters got the nooses over his immense horns and 
anchored him to surrounding trees. They got the elk alive to the Allegheny 
River, and floated him on a raft to Olean Point. From there they travelled 
with him through New York State to Albany, exhibiting him with much 
profit, and at Albany he was sold for five hundred dollars. That elk stood 
sixteen hands high and had antlers six feet long, and eleven points on each 
side, the usual number of points being nine on a side." 

The last elk killed in this State was in 1864, by Jim Jacobs, an Indian. 
This elk had been pursued for several days, and in despair sought his " rock" 
near the Clarion River, and was there shot. He was too old and tough to be 
used for food. The buffalo, elk, panther, wolf, and beaver are now extinct. 
The last buffalo killed in the State of which there is a record was about 1799. 
There were originally in this State over fifty species of wild, four-footed ani- 
mals. We had three hundred and twenty-five species and sub-species of birds, 
and our waters, including Lake Erie, had one hundred and fifty species of 
fish. It may not be amiss to state here that all our wild animals were pos- 
sessed of intelligence, courage, fear, hate, and affection. They reasoned, had 
memory, and a desire for revenge. A wolf could be tamed and trained to 
hunt like a dog. It is recorded in history that a pet snake has been known to 
travel one hundred miles home. It is undeniable that they could compute time, 
courses, and distances. Elks, bears, and deer had their own paths. Bears 
blazed theirs by biting a hemlock tree occasionally. 

Elks are polygamous. The chief is a tyrant, and rules the herd like a 
czar. The does all fear him. Does breed at the age of two years, having but 
one fawn, but when older often two or three at a time, and these young follow 

117 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

their mother all summer, or from the date of birth in May or June to fall. The 
elk's whistle varies much and has different meanings ; they seem to have a 
language like all other animals, big or little. A full-grown elk never forgets 
an injury. They can soon be taught to work like oxen, but it takes from six 
months to two years to be able to stand in front of an elk and command him. 
In 1834, Mike, William, and John Long and Andrew A^astbinder captured 
a full-grown live elk. Their dogs chased the animal on his high rock, and 
while there the hunters lassoed him. The elk only lived three weeks in cap- 
tivity. The last elk in the State was killed in our forests. A noted hunter 
thus describes a battle between wolves and a drove of elks : " I heard a rush of 




Grav or timber wolf of Pennsvhaiiia 



feet from the opposite direction, and the next moment a band of elks swept 
into sight. Magnificent fellows they were, eight bucks and three does, with 
a couple of fawns. They had evidently been stampeded by something, and 
swept past me without seeing me, but stopped short on catching sight of the 
wolves. The does turned back and started to gallop away in the direction 
from which they came, but one of the bucks gave a cry, and they stopped short 
and huddled together with the fawns between them, while the bucks sur- 
rounded them. Each buck lowered his horns and awaited the attack. The 
wolves, seeing the cordon of bristling bone, paused, disconcerted for a moment ; 
then the foremost, a gaunt old wolf, gave a howl and threw himself upon the 
lowered antlers. He was flung fully ten feet with a broken back, but his fate 
did not deter the others. They threw themselves upon the elks only to be 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

pierced by the prongs. It was not until fully twenty had in this way been 
maimed and killed that they seemed to realize the hopelessness of the thing." 

The largest carnivorous beast was the panther. After the advent of white 
men into this wilderness panthers were not common. In the early days, 
however, there were enough of them in the forests to keep the settler or the 
hunter ever on his guard. They haunted the wildest glens and made their 
presence known by occasional raids on the ilocks and herds. It is probable 
that here in our northwestern counties there are still a few of these savage 
beasts. 

The puma, popularly called by our pioneers panther, was and is a large 
animal with a cat head. The average length of a panther from nose to tip 
of tail is about six to twelve feet, the tail being over two feet long, and the 
tip of which is black. The color of the puma is tawny, dun, or reddish along 
the back and side, and sometimes grayish-white underneath or over the abdo- 
men and chest, with a little black patch behind each ear. The panther is a 
powerful animal, as well as dangerous, but when captured as a cub can be 
easily domesticated and will be good until he is about two years old. The 
pioneers shot them and captured many in panther- and bear-traps. The pelts 
sold for from one to twelve dollars. The catamount, or bey lynx, was a 
species of the cat, had tufts on the ears, a cat head, long-bodied, three or four 
feet long, short-legged, big-footed, and mottled in color. The fur was valu- 
able. The lynx is sometimes mistaken for the panther. 

The Longs, Vastbinders, and other noted hunters in Jefferson County 
killed many a panther. A law was enacted in 1806 giving a bounty of eight 
dollars for the " head" of each grown wolf or panther killed, and the " pelts," 
bringing a good price for fur, stimulated these hunters greatly to do their 
best in trapping, hunting, and watching the dens of these dangerous animals. 
The bounty on the head of a wolf pup was three dollars. The bounty on the 
head of a panther whelp was four dollars. The county commissioners would 
cut the ears off these heads and give an order on the county treasurer for 
the bounty money. A panther's pelt sold for about four dollars. On one 
occasion a son of Bill Long, Jackson by name, boldly entered a panther's den 
and shot the animal by the light of his glowing eyes. In 1833, Jacob and 
Peter Vastbinder found a panther's den on Boone's Mountain, now Elk 
County. They killed one, the dogs killed two, and these hunters caught a 
cub, which they kept a year and then sold it to a showman. In 1819 the 
Legislature enacted a law giving twelve dollars for a full-grown panther's 
head and five dollars for the head of a cub. 

" Nothing among the wild beasts strikes such terror to the heart of the 
settler as the cry of the wolf at a lonely spot at night. The pioneers knew 
very well that on a lonely forest trail at any hour of the day or night the other 
animals could be frightened by a slight bluff. No other animals go in packs. 
The wolf would not attack were he alone. It is when reinforced that he is a 

119 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

terror, and then the howl of the wolf is the most blood-curdling of all the 
noises of the night in the woods. Where he is bent upon attacking a traveller 
he announces it by a howl from one quarter. The signal is answered from 
another direction. Another piercing howl comes from somewhere else. The 
cry of the wolf echoes and rolls from hill to hill in marvellous multiplication 
of sounds. A small pack of half a dozen wolves will make the mountain seem 
alive for miles. The cry is anything but reassuring to the timid soul who is 
shut in safely by the fire of his forest cabin. It is enough to chill the marrow 
of the man who for the first time hears it when he is in the unprotected open. 
The wolf is vicious and savage. Hunger gives him any courage that he 
possesses, and that sort of courage drives him to desperation. That is why 
the wolf is such a ferocious enemy when once he is aroused to attack man. 
Death by starvation is no more alluring to him than death by the hand of his 
possible prey." 

The pioneer hunter would sometimes raise a wolf pup. This pup 
would be a dog in every sense of the word until about three years old, and 
then he would be a wolf in all his acts. 

" One hundred years ago wolves were common in Northern and Western 
Pennsylvania. In the middle of the last century large packs of them roamed 
over a great portion of the State. To the farmer they were an unmitigated 
nuisance, preying on his sheep, and even waylaying belated travellers in the 
forest. After the State was pretty well settled these beasts disappeared very 
suddenly. Many people have wondered as to the cause of their quick extinc- 
tion. Rev. Joseph Doddridge in his ' Notes' ascribes it to hydrophobia, and 
he relates several instances where settlers who were bitten by wolves perished 
miserably from that terrible disease." 

I have listened in my bed to the dismal howl of the wolf, and for the 
benefit of those who never heard a wolf's musical soiree I will state here that 
one wolf leads off in a long tenor, and then the whole pack joins in the chorus. 

Wolves were so numerous that, in the memory of persons still living in 
Brookville (1898), it was unsafe or dangerous to permit a girl of ten or 
twelve years to go a mile in the country unaccompanied. In those days the 
Longs have shot as many as five and six without moving in their tracks, and 
with a single-barrelled, muzzle-loading rifle, too. The sure aim and steady 
and courageous hearts of noted hunters made it barely possible for the early 
settlers to live in these woods, and even then they had to exercise " eternal 
vigilance." In 1835, Bill Long, John and Jack Kahle captured eight wolves 
in a " den" near the present town of Sigel. Wolf-pelts sold for three dollars. 
Wild-cats were numerous ; occasionally a cat is killed in the county yet, even 
within the borough limits. 

One of the modes of Mike Long and other pioneer hunters on the Clarion 
River was to ride a horse with a cow-bell on through the woods over the deer- 
paths. The deer were used to cow-bells and would allow the horse to come 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

in full view. When the deer were looking at the horse, the hunter usually 
shot one or two. 

Every pioneer had one or more cow-bells ; they were made of copper and 







Pennsylvania bear 



iron. They were not cast, but were cut, hammered, and riveted into shape, 
and were of different sizes. 

The black bear was alwavs common in Pennsylvania, and especially was 
this so in our wild portion of the State. He was a great road-maker and king 
of the beasts. The early settlers in the northwest killed every year in the 

121 



HISTORY or NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

aggregate hundreds of these bears. Bear-skins were worth from three to 
five dollars apiece. Reuben Hickox, of Perry Township, Jefferson County, 
as late as 1822, killed over fifty bears in three months. Captain Hunt, a 
Muncy Indian, living in what is now Brookville, killed sixty-eight in one 
winter. In 183 1, Mrs. McGhee, living in what is now Washington Township, 
heard her pigs squealing, and exclaimed, " The bears are at the hogs !" A 
hired man, Philip McCaiiferty, and herself each picked up an axe and drove 
the bears away. One pig had been killed. Every fall and winter bears are 
still killed in our forests. 

Peter Vastbinder when a boy shot a big bear through the window of his 
father's house, and this, too, by moonlight. This bear had a scap of bees in 
his arms, and was walking away with them. The flesh of the bear was prized 
by the pioneer. He was fond of bear meat. Bears weighing four or five 
hundred pounds rendered a large amount of oil, which the pioneer housewife 
used in cooking. 

Trapping and pens were resorted to by the pioneer hunters to catch the 
panther, the bear, the wolf, and other game. 

The bear-pen was built in a triangular shape of heavy logs. It was in 
shape and build to work just like a wooden box rabbit-trap. The bear steel- 
trap weighed about twenty-five pounds. It had double springs and spikes 
sharpened in the jaws. A chain was also attached. This was used as a 
panther-trap, too. " The bear was always hard to trap. The cautious brute 
would never put his paw into visible danger, even when allured by the most 
tempting bait. If the animal was caught, it had to be accomplished by means 
of the most cunning stratagem. One successful method of catching this 
cautious beast was to conceal a strong trap in the ground covered with leaves 
or earth, and suspend a quarter of a sheep or deer from a tree above the 
hidden steel. The bait being just beyond the reach of the bear, would cause 
the animal to stand on his hind feet and try to get the meat. While thus 
rampant, the unsuspecting brute would sometimes step into the trap and 
throw the spring. The trap was not fastened to a stake or tree, but attached 
to a long chain, furnished with two or three grab-hooks, which would catch 
to brush and logs, and thus prevent the game from getting away." 

An old settler informs me that in the fall of the year bears became verv 
fat from the daily feasts they had on beechnuts and chestnuts, and the occa- 
sional raids they made on the old straw beehives and ripe cornfields. In 
pioneer times the bear committed considerable destruction to the corn. He 
would seat himself on his haunches in a corner of the field next to the woods, 
and then, collecting a sheaf of the cornstalks at a time, would there and then 
enjoy a sumptuous repast. 

Wolves usually hunt in the night, so they, too, were trapped and penned. 
The wolf-pen was built of small round logs about eight or ten feet high and 
narrowed at the top. Into this pen the hunter threw his bait, and the wolf 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

could easily jump in, but he was unable to jump out. The wolf-trap was on 
the principle of the rat-trap, only larger, the jaws being a foot or two long. 
Wolves would welcome a domestic dog in their pack, but a dog that clung to 
man, their enemy, they would tear to pieces. 

Glutton or sloth wolverines were very rare in the northwest. They were 
to be found in the most northern tier. The only county reported to have these 
animals in the northwest was Potter County. Joseph Nelson is reported to 
have caught one in a trap in 1858, and one is reported to have been killed by 
J. P. Nelson in 1863. Wolverines were found in Mercer County in 1846. 

Trappers rated the fox the hardest animal to trap, the wolf next, and the 
otter third. To catch a fox they often made a bed of chaff and got him to lie 
in it or fool around it, the trap being set under the chaff. Or a trap was set at 
a place where several foxes seemed to stop for a certain purpose. Or a fox 
could be caught sometimes by putting a bait a little way out in the water, and 
then putting a pad of moss between the bait and the shore, with the trap hid 
under the moss. The fox, not liking to wet his feet, would step 6n the moss 
and be caught. 

THE AMERICAN ELK DEER AND DEER COMBATS — HUNTERS, PROFESSIONAL AND 

NON-PROFESSIONAL STALKING AND BELLING DEER — OTHER ANIMALS, 

ETC. 

The American elk is the largest of all the deer kind. Bill Long and other 
noted hunters killed elks in these woods seven feet high. The early hunters 
found their range to be from Elk Licks on Spring Creek, that empties into the 
Clarion River at what is now called " Hallton," up to and around Beech 
Bottom. In winter these heavy-footed animals always " yarded" themselves 
on the " Beech Bottom" for protection from their enemies, — the light-footed 
wolves. The elk's trot was heavy, clumsy, and swinging, and would break 
through an ordinary crust on the snow ; but in the summer-time he would 
throw his great antlers back on his shoulders and trot through the thickets at a 
Nancy Hanks gait, even over fallen timber five feet high. One of his reasons 
for locating on the Clarion River was that he was personally a great bather 
and enjoyed spending his summers on the banks and the sultry days in bathing 
in that river. Bill Long presented a pair of enormous elk-horns, in 1838, to 
John Smith, of Brookville, who used them as a sign for the Jefferson Inn. 

In looking over old copies of the Elk County Advocate I find advertise- 
ments something like this : 

" Hunters. — Several young fawns are wanted, for which a liberal price 
will be given. Enquire at this office." 

In some of the old papers Caleb Dill, of Ridgway, advertised for elks: 
"For a living male elk one year old I will give $50; two years old, $75; 

123 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

three years old, $ioo; and for a fawn three months old, $25." Elks were 

easily tamed. 

" The common Virginia white-tailed deer, once exceedingly numerous in 
the northwest is still to be found in limited numbers. This deer when loping 
or running elevates its tail, showing the long white hair of the lower surface. 
If the animal is struck by a bullet the tail is almost invariably tucked close to 
the ham, concealing the white. 

All deer kind who have branch horns, with one exception, shed their 
antlers annually every February or March, and have them completely restored 
by August of the same year. 

" The American deer, common deer, or just deer, is peculiar to Penn- 
sylvania. It differs from the three well-known European species, — the red 
deer, the fallow deer, and the pretty little roe. Of these three, the red deer 
is the only one which can stand comparison with the American. 

" The bucks have antlers peculiar in many cases, double sharp, erect 
spikes or tines. The doe lacks these antlers. The antlers on the bucks are 
shed and renewed annually. Soon after the old antlers fall, swellings, like 
tumors cdvered with plush, appear; these increase in size and assume the 
shape of the antlers with astonishing rapidity, until the new antlers have 
attained their full size, when they present the appearance of an ordinary pair 
of antlers covered with fine velvet. The covering, or ' velvet,' is filled with 
blood-vessels, which supply material for the new growth. The furrows in the 
complete antler show the course of the circulation during its formation, and 
no sooner is the building process completed than the ' velvet' begins to wither 
and dry up. Now the buck realizes that he is fully armed and equipped for 
the fierce joustings which must decide the possession of the does of his favorite 
range, and he busies himself in testing his new weapons and in putting a 
proper polish upon every inch of them. He bangs and rattles his horn daggers 
against convenient trees and thrusts and swings them into dense, strong shrubs, 
and if observed during this honing-up process he frequently seems a dis- 
reputable-looking beast, with long streamers of blood-stained ' velvet' hanging 
to what will shortly be finely polished antlers with points as sharp as knives. 
When the last rub has been given and every beam and tine is furbished thor- 
oughly, our bravo goes a-wooing with the best of them. He trails the coy 
does through lone covers and along favorite runways unceasingly; he is 
fiery and impetuous and full of fight, and asks no fairer chance than to meet a 
rival as big and short-tempered as himself. He meets one before long, for 
every grown buck is on the warpath, and when the pair fall foul of each other 
there is frequently a long and desperate combat, in which one gladiator must 
be thoroughly whipped or killed. All deer fight savagely, and occasionally 
two battling rivals find a miserable doom by managing to get their antlers 
securely interlocked, when both must perish. Two dead bucks thus locked 
head to head have been found lying as they fell in an open glade, where the 

124 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

scarred surface of the ground and the crushed and riven shrubs about told an 
eloquent tale of a wild tourney long sustained, and of miserable failing efforts 
of the wearied conqueror to free himself of his dead foe." — Outing. The 
Vastbinders, Longs, and all the early hunters found just such skulls in these 
woods. 

Artificial deer-licks were numerous, and made in this way: A hunter 
would take a coffee-sack and put in it about half a bushel of common salt, and 
then suspend the sack high on the branch of a tree. When the rain descended 
the salt water would drip from the sack to the ground, making the earth saline 
and damp, and to this spot the deer would come, paw and lick the earth. The 
hunter usually made his blind in this way : A piece of board had two auger- 
holes bored in each end, and with ropes through these holes was fastened to a 
limb on a tree. On this board the hunter seated himself to await his game. 
Deer usually visit licks from about 2 a.m. until daylight. As a rule, deer feed 
in the morning and evening and ramble around all night seeking a thicket for 
rest and seclusion in the daytime. 

" For ways that were dark and for tricks that were vain" the old pioneer 
was always in it. When real hungry for a venison steak he would often use 
a tame deer as a decoy, in this way : Fawns were captured when small, tamed, 
reared, and permitted to run at large with the cattle. A life insurance was 
" written" on this tame deer by means of a bell or a piece of red flannel fastened 
around the neck. Tame deer could be trained to follow masters, and when 
taken to the woods usually fed around and attracted to their society wild deer, 
which could then be shot by the secreted hunter. At the discharge of a gun 
the tame deer invariably ran up to her master. Some of these does were kept 
for five or six years. Deer generally have two fawns at a time, in May, and 
sometimes three. 

Love of home is highly developed in the deer. You cannot chase him away 
from it. He will circle round and round, and every evening come to where 
he was born. He lives in about eight or ten miles square of his birthplace. 
In the wilds of swamps and mountains and laurel-brakes he has his " roads," 
beaten paths, and " crossings," like the civilized and cross roads of man. 
When hounded by dogs he invariably strikes for a creek or river, and it is 
his practice to take one of these " travelled paths," which he never leaves nor 
forgets, no matter how circuitous the path may be. Certain crossings on 
these paths where the deer will pass are called in sporting parlance " stands." 
These " stands" never change, imless through the clearing of timber or by 
settlement the old landmarks are destroyed. 

" The deer loves for a habitation to wander over hills, through thick 
swamps or open woods, and all around is silence save what noise is made by 
the chirping birds and wild creatures like himself. He loves to feed a little 
on the lowlands and then browse on the high ground. It takes him a long 
time to make a meal, and no matter how much of good food there may be in 

125 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

any particular place, he will not remain there to thoroughly satisfy his appe- 
tite. He must roam about and eat over a great deal of territory. When he 
has browsed and fed till he is content, he loves to pose behind a clump of 
bushes and watch and listen. At such times he stands with head up as stanch 
as a setter on point, and if one watches him closely not a movement of his 
muscles will be detected. He sweeps the country before him with his keen 
eyes, and his sharp ears will be disturbed by the breaking of a twig anywhere 
within o-unshot. 




Deer and fawn ill Mahonint; Creek 
" Sjiarkling and bri.t^ht, in its liquid light, was the water." 

" When the day is still the deer is confident he can outwit the enemy who 
tries to creep up on him with shot-gun or rifle. But when the wind blows, he 
fears to trust himself in those places where he may easily be approached by 
man, so he hides in the thickets and remains very quiet until night. To kill 
a deer on a still day, when he is not difficult to find, the hunter must match 
the deer in cunning and must possess a marked degree of patience. The deer, 
conscious of his own craftiness, wanders slowly through the woods ; but he 
does not go far before he stops, and like a statue he stands, and can only be 
made out by the hunter with a knowledge of his ways and a trained eye. 

126 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" The deer listens for a footfall. Should the hunter be anywhere within 
the range of his ear and step on a twig, the deer is off with a bound. He 
does not stop until he has reached what he regards as a safe locality in which 
to look and listen again. A man moving cautiously behind a clump of bushes 
anywhere within the sweep of his vision will start him off on the run, for he 
is seldom willing to take even a small chance against man. Should the 
coast be clear, the deer will break his pose, browse and wander about again, 
and finally make his bed under the top of a fallen tree or in some little thicket. 

" To capture the deer by the still-hunting method, the hunter must know 
his ways and outwit him at his own game. First of all, the still-hunter wears 
soft shoes, and when he puts his foot on the ground he is careful not to set it 
on a twig which will snap and frighten any deer that may be in the vicinity. 
The still-hunter proceeds at once to put into practice the very system which 
the deer has taught him. He strikes a pose. He listens and looks. A deer 
standing like a statue two hundred yards away is not likely to be detected by 
an inexperienced hunter, but the expert is not deceived. He has learned to 
look closely into the detail of the picture before him, and he will note the dif- 
ference between a set of antlers and a bush. 

" The brown sides of a deer are very indistinct when they have for a 
background a clump of brown bushes. But the expert still-hunter sits quietly 
on a log and peers into the distance steadily, examining all details before him. 
Occasionally his fancy will help him to make a deer's haunch out of a hump 
on a tree, or he will fancy he sees an antler mixed with the small branches 
of a bush, but his trained eye finally removes all doubt. But he is in no hurry. 
He is like the deer, patient, keen of sight, and quick of hearing. He knows 
that if there are any deer on their feet in his vicinity he will get his eyes on 
them if he takes the time, or if he waits long enough he is likely to see them 
on the move. At all events, he must see the deer first. Then he must get 
near enough to him to bring him down with his rifle." — Outing. 

Deer will not run in a straight line. They keep their road, and it is this 
habit they have of crossing hills, paths, woods, and streams, almost invariably 
within a few yards of the same spot, that causes their destruction by the 
hounding and belling methods of farmers, lumbermen, and other non-profes- 
sionals. Deer-licks were numerous all over this county. A " deer-lick" is a 
place where salt exists near the surface of the earth. The deer find these 
spots and work them during the night, generally in the early morning. One 
of the methods of our early settlers was to sit all night on or near a tree, 
" within easy range of a spring or a ' salt-lick,' and potting the unsuspecting 
deer which may happen to come to the lick in search of salt or water. This 
requires no more skill than an ability to tell from which quarter the breeze 
is blowing and to post one's self accordingly, and the power to hit a deer when 
the gun is fired from a dead rest." 

" Belling deer" was somewhat common. I have tried my hand at it. 

127 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

The mode was this : Three men were located at proper distances apart along 
a trail or runway near a crossing. The poorest marksman was placed so as 
to have the first shot, and the two good ones held in reserve for any accidental 
attack of " buck fever" to the persons on the first and second stands. An 
experienced woodsman was then sent into a laurel thicket, carrying with him 
a cow-bell; and when this woodsman found and started a deer, he followed 
it, ringing the bell. The sound of this bell was notice to those on the " stand" 
of the approach of a deer. When the animal came on the jump within shooting 
distance of the first stand, the hunter there posted would bleat like a sheep; 
the deer would then come to a stand-still, when the hunter could take good 
aim at it; the others had to shoot at the animal running. The buck or doe 
rarely escaped this gauntlet. 

" The deer was always a coveted prize among hunters. No finer dish than 
venison ever graced the table of king or peasant. No more beautiful trophy 
has ever adorned the halls of the royal sportsman or the humble cabin of the 
lowly hunter on the wild frontier than the antlers of the fallen buck. The 
sight of this noble animal in his native state thrills with admiration alike the 
heart of the proudest aristocrat and the rudest backwoodsman. In the days 
when guns were rare and ammunition very costly, hunters set stakes for deer, 
where the animal had been in the habit of jumping into or out of fields. A 
piece of hard timber, two or three inches thick and about four feet long, was 
sharpened into a spear shape, and then driven firmly into the ground at the 
place where the deer were accustomed to leap over the log fence. The stake 
was slanted toward the fence, so as to strike the animal in the breast as it 
leaped into or out of the fields. Several of these deadly wooden spears were 
often set at the same crossing, so as to increase the peril of the game. If the 
deer were seen in the field, a scare would cause them to jump over the fence 
with less caution, and thus often a buck would impale himself on one of the 
fatal stakes, when but for the sight of the hunter the animal might have 
escaped unhurt. Thousands of deer were killed or crippled in this way gen- 
erations ago." — Outing. 

A deer-skin sold in those days for seventy-five to ninety cents. Of the 
original wild animals still remaining in Northwestern Pennsylvania, there are 
the fox, raccoon, porcupine, musk-rat, martin, otter, mink, skunk, opossum, 
woodchuck, rabbit, squirrel, mole, and mouse. Fifty years ago the woods 
were full of porcupines. On the defensive is the only way he ever fights. 
When the enemy approaches he rolls up into a little wad, sharp quills out, 
and he is not worried about how many are in the besieging party. One prick 
of his quills will satisfy any assailant. When he sings his blood-curdling 
•song, it is interpreted as a sign of rain. 

" In fact, when a porcupine curls himself up into the shape of a ball he 
is safe from the attack of almost any animal, for his quills are long enough 
to prevent his enemy from getting near enough to bite him. 

128 ' ' 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" Their food is almost entirely vegetable, consisting of the inner bark of 
trees, tender roots, and twigs. They are fond, however, of the insects and 
worms found in the bark of pines and hemlocks. 

" Provided with powerful jaws and long, sharp teeth, the porcupine gnaws 
with great speed, stripping the bark from an old tree as though he were 
provided with weapons of steel. Often he seems to tear in a spirit of sheer 
destructiveness, without pausing to eat the bark or to search for insects. 
This is more especially true with the old males. 

" The porcupine is not a wily beast. He establishes paths or runways 
through the forest, and from these he never deviates if he can help it. What 
is more, he is exceedingly greedy, and stops to investigate every morsel in 
his way. 

" A trap set in the middle of a runway and baited with a turnip rarely fails 
to catch him." The hunters liked them cooked. 




Porcupine 



The wholesale prices of furs in 1804 were : Otter, one dollar and a half 
to four dollars ; bear, one to three dollars and a half ; beaver, one to two 
dollars and a half ; martin, fifty cents to one dollar and a half ; red fox, one 
dollar to one dollar and ten cents; mink, twenty to forty cents; muskrat, 
twenty-five to thirty cents ; raccoon, twenty to fifty cents ; deer-pelts, seventy- 
five cents to one dollar. 

The pioneer hunter carried his furs and pelts to the Pittsburg market in 
canoes, where he sold them to what were called Indian traders from the East. 
In later years traders visited the cabins of our hunters in the northwest, and 
bartered for and bought the furs and pelts from the hunters or from our 
merchants. 

Old William Vastbinder, a noted hunter and trapper in this wilderness, 
and pioneer in Jei¥erson County, was quite successful in trapping wolves 
one season on Hunt's Run, about the year 1819 or 1820; but for some un- 
known reason his success suddenly stopped, and he could not catch a single 
9 129 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

wolf. He then suspected the Indians of robbing his traps. So one morning 
bright and early he visited his traps and found no wolf, but did find an 
Indian track. He followed the Indian trail and lost it. On looking around 
he heard a voice from above, and looking up he saw an Indian sitting in the 
fork of a tree, and the Indian said, " Now, you old rascal, you go home, Oil 
Bill, or Indian shoot." With the Indian's flint-lock pointed at him, Vastbinder 
immediately became quite hungry and started home for an early breakfast. 

Bill Long often sold to pedlers fifty deer-pelts at a single sale. He had 
hunting shanties in all sections and quarters of this wilderness. 

In 1850 the late John Du Bois, founder of Du Bois City, desired to locate 
some lands near Boone's Mountain. So he took Bill Long with him, and the 
two took up a residence in a shanty of Long's near the head-waters of Rattle- 
snake Run, in what is now Snyder Township. After four or five days' rusti- 
cating, the provisions gave out, and Du Bois got hungry. Long told him 
there was nothing to eat here and for him to leave for Bundy's. On his way 
from the shanty to Bundy's Mr. Du Bois killed five deer. 

George Smith, a Washington Township early hunter, who is still (1898) 
living in the wilds of Elk County, has killed in this wilderness fourteen pan- 
thers, five hundred bears, thirty elks, three thousand deer, five hundred cata- 
mounts, five hundred wolves, and six hundred wild-cats. He has killed seven 
deer in a day and as many as five bears in a day. Mr. Smith has followed 
hunting as a profession for sixty years. 

CATAMOUNT BEY LYNX 

The catamount is larger than the wild-cat. They have been killed in 
this forest six and seven feet long from tip of nose to end of tail. They have 
tufts on their ear-tips, and are often mistaken for panthers. 

MINK 

" The mmk is an expert at swimming and diving, and able to remain long 
under water, where it pursues and catches fish, which it frequently destroys 
in large numbers. 

"The mink does much damage to poultry, especially chickens and ducks. 
Various kinds of wild birds, particularly ground-nesting species, crayfish, 
frogs, and reptiles are included in the dietary of the mink; and it is also 
learned from the testimony of different writers and observers that the eggs of 
domestic fowls are often taken by these nocturnal plunderers. 

" The average weight of an adult mink is about two pounds, and for an 
animal so small it is astonishing to observe its great strength." 

WILD-CAT — BOB-CAT 

" The wild-cat inhabits forests, rocky ledges, and briery thickets,' but its 
favorite place is in old slashings and bark peelings, where in the impenetrable 

130 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

and tangled recesses it is comparatively safe from pursuit, and is also able to 
prey upon many varieties of animals which have a permanent or temporary 
residence in such unfrequented wilds. 

" The wild-cat subsists entirely on a flesh diet, and the damage this species 
does in destroying poultry, lambs, and young pigs of farmers who reside in 
the sparsely settled mountainous regions is not in any degree compensated by 
the destruction of other small wild animals which molest the farmer's crops 
or his poultry." 

Wild-cats hunt both bv day and by night. A whole family of them will 
hunt and run down a deer, especially on crusted snow. 

" The wild-cat usually makes its domicile or nest in a hollow tree or log. 
The nest is well lined with leaves, moss, and lichens, called commonly ' hair 




VVild-c^l 



moss.' The nest is also sometimes found in rocky ledges and caves. From 
two to four constitute a litter. It is stated that the young are brought forth 
in the middle of May. Wild-cats may be caught in traps baited with rabbits, 
chicken, grouse, or fresh meat." 

THE RIVER OTTER 

Our otter was about four feet long, as I recollect him, very heavy and 
strong ; usually weighed about twenty-three pounds, was web-footed, a fisher 
by occupation, and could whip or kill any dog. On land he had his beaten 
paths. Big fish eat little fish, little fish eat shrimps, and shrimps eat mud. 

t3i 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

Otters ate all kinds of fish, but preferred the speckled trout. Like other 
animals, otters had their plays and playgrounds. They were fond of strength 
contests, two or more pulling at the end of a stick something like our " square 
pull." They made slides, and frolicked greatly in winter time, sliding down 
hill. They made their slides in this wise : By plunging into the water, then 
running up a hill and letting the water drip from them to freeze on the slide. 




They lived in excavations on the creek or river bank close to the water. They 
were hunted and trapped by men for their pelts. John Long, a noted hunter, 
told me that the most terrific contest he ever had with a wild animal was with 
an otter near Brookville. 

THE FOX 

In pioneer times we had in this wilderness the gray, the cross, and the 
red fox. The gray is now extinct in the northwest, as he can only live in 
solitude or in a forest. The red fox still lingers in our civilization. Six 
varieties of foxes are said to be found in the United States, and it is claimed 
they are all cousins of the wolf. But notwithstanding this relationship, the 
wolf used to hunt and eat all the foxes he could catch. The wolf's persistence 
in hunting, and endurance in the race, enabled him at times to overcome the 
fleetness of the fox. The gray and red fox were about three and one-half 
feet long. The red fox is the most daring, cunning, and intellectual of all the 
varieties. You cannot tame him. The term '' foxy" originated in connection 
with him. The red fox has from four to eight puppies in April, and these, 
like little dogs, are born blind. The red fox has the astounding faculty of 
creating deep-laid schemes to deceive and thwart his enemies. He is the only 
animal that will match his intelligence against man, and the only way man 

13^ 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

can best him is by poison. It was not unusual for the red fox to back-track 
in such a way while racing for his life as to follow the hunter, and turn the 
tables from being hunted to being the hunter. He would even feign death- 
allow himself to be kicked or handled, only waiting and watching for an 
opportunity to escape. His tricks to outwit man were many and would fill a 




volume. The fox was very fond of ground-hog eating. Like the bear he 
would dig them out. His presence in a ground-hog neighborhood created 
great consternation. All animals have a cry of alarm, — danger, — and if ob- 
served by any ground-hog he always gave this cry for his neighbors. 



WEASEL 

Both sexes have the power to emit a fluid nearly as offensive as that of the 
polecat. " A glance at the physiognomy of the weasels would suffice to betray 
their character ; the teeth are almost of the highest known raptorial character ; 
the jaws are worked by enormous masses of muscles covering all the sides of 
the skull ; the forehead is low and the nose is sharp ; the eyes are small, pene- 
trating, cunning, and glitter with an angry green light. There is something 
peculiar, moreover, in the way that this fierce face surmounts a body extraor- 
dinarily wiry, lithe, and muscular. It ends a remarkably long and slender 
neck in such a way that it may be held at right angle with the axis of the 
latter. When the animal is glancing around with the neck stretched up and 

133 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

the flat triangular head bent forward and swaying from one side to the other, 
we catch the Hkeness in a moment— it is the image of a serpent. 

" His coat changes with the seasons, and while in winter we find it white 
tinted with sulphur yellow, in summer it is on upper parts of a dark brown 
not unlike the coloring of a mink ; on its under parts it is ' white almost in- 
variably tinged with sulphury yellow' (Coues). The tail partakes of the color 
of the upper parts, except the bushy end, which, in summer and winter alike, 
is black. Its legs are short, with slender feet, and are covered all over with 
fur in winter, but in summer the pads are generally visible. 

" Their homes are frequently to be found in a decayed tree-stump and 
under rocks." He can climb trees with ease. 

" The poultry-yard is frequently visited and his apparently insatiable 
desire for rapine is most clearly shown while on these visits. One chicken 
will satisfy his appetite, but after that is gratified he does not leave ; he kills 
and slays without mercy all the remainder of the poor frightened chickens, 
until there are none left and not until then does he leave the scene of carnage. 

" He sucks the eggs also, leaving in some instances the unlucky farmer 
who has unwillingly and unwittingly been his host completely routed as 
regards his efforts in the poultry line." He also feeds on rats and mice. 

THE OPOSSUM 

The opossum is an American animal, about the size of a very large cat, 
eight or ten pounds in weight, twenty inches long, with a prehensile tail, in 
addition, of fifteen inches. There are said to be three varieties, — viz., the Mex- 
ican, Florida, and the Virginia. The last variety is the one found in North- 
western Pennsylvania. They are very prolific, having three litters a year, — 
viz., in March, May, and July, of twelve to sixteen at a time. At birth they 
are naked, blind, and about a half inch long, the mother depositing each one 
with her hands in a pouch or pocket in her abdomen, and there the little 
creature sucks the mother and sleeps for about eight weeks. When full- 
grown they are good tree climbers, making great use of their tail in swinging 
from tree to tree and for other purposes. He is a dull creature, easily domes- 
ticated, and the only intelligence he exhibits is when, like the spider and 
potato-bug, he feigns death. At this he is truly an adept, suflfering great 
abuse waiting for a chance to bite or run. All carnivorous animals eat smaller 
ones, so the opossum's enemies are numerous, and he in turn is omnivorous 
and carnivorous, eating everything he can catch that is smaller than himself. 

SQUIRRELS 

The intelligence of some animals is amazing. Many of them seem to 
study us as we study them. The squirrel knew that man was his most dan- 
gerous enemy, and that man killed him and his race for food. In pioneer 
times we had several varieties: the principal ones were the black, twenty- 

1.34 




OPOSSUM 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

two inches long; the gray, eighteen inches long; and the little red, or Hudson 
Bay, about eight inches long. The red was a bold little beast, liked to be 
close to man, full of vice and few virtues. He was industrious in season 
and out. The black and gray were lazy. Whenever a squirrel wanted to 
cross a creek or river, and didn't want to swim, he sailed over on a piece of 
bark or wood, using his brushy tail as a sail and to steer by. The skunk did 
likewise. A single pair of squirrels would inhabit the same tree for years. 
They had three or four young at a litter. The red or Hudson Bay squirrel 
was the king of all the squirrels in this forest ; although not more than eight 
inches long, he was the complete master of all the squirrels. The black and 
gray were as afraid of him as death. With an intellect surprising, he would 







Squirrel 

chase and capture the black and gray and castrate them, then, in exultation, 
scold or chickaree to his heart's content. 

In pioneer times, every seven or eight years, at irregular intervals in 
summer, a great army of black and gray squirrels invaded this wilderness 
from the northwest ; a host that no man could number. They were travelling 
east in search of food. Hundreds of them were killed daily by other animals 
and by man. 

In these pioneer times crows and squirrels were such a menace to the 
crops of the farmer in Western Pennsylvania that an act was passed by the 
Legislature to encourage the killing of squirrels in certain parts of this 
Commonwealth. The pioneer act was passed March 4, 1807, giving a bounty 

135 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

of three cents for each crow scalp and one cent and a half for each squirrel 
scalp ; these scalps to be received in lieu of money for taxes, if delivered to 
the county treasurer before the ist day of November of each year. 

The first act covered Bedford, Washington, Westmoreland, Armstrong, 
Indiana, Fayette, and Green Counties. This law was extended in 1811, on the 
13th of February, to Butler, Franklin, Mercer, Venango, Somerset, Lycoming, - 
Crawford, and Erie Counties. 

One of the cutest things that the red squirrel did was to tap sugar-trees 
for the sap. He would chisel with his teeth a trough on the top of a limb, 
and as fast as the trough- would fill with the water he would return and 
drink it. 

In the fall of the year a squirrel would hide acorns and nuts outside of 
his nest, where others of his kind could not easily find the fruit, then in mid- 
winter, when he became hungry, he would leave his cosey nest and go a long 
distance through the snow to the identical spot where he had buried his fruit, 
dig it up, and enjoy his meal. 



NATURAL LIFE OF SOME OF OUR WILD AND DOMESTIC ANIMALS 



Years, 

Elk 50 

Beaver 50 

Panther 25 

Catamount 25 

Buflfalo 20 

Cow 20 

Horse 20 

Bear 20 

Deer 20 



Hog 
Wolf 
Cat .. 



Years. 
20 

•IS 

IS 

Fox IS 

Dog 10 

Sheep 10 

Squirrel 7 

Rabbit 7 



BIRDS 

" If a bird's nest chance to be before thee in the way in any tree, or on 
the ground, whether they be young ones, or eggs, and the dam sitting upon 
the young, or upon the eggs, thou shalt not take the dam with the young: 
but thou shalt in anywise let the dam go, and take the young to thee ; that it 
may be well with thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days."— Deut. 
xxii. 6, 7. 

With the exception of the wild turkey and raven, which are now about 
extinct, we have almost the same variety of birds here that lived and sang 
in this wilderness when the Barnetts settled on Mill Creek. Some of these 
original birds are quite scarce. We have one new bird,— viz., the English 
sparrow. 

Before enumerating our birds it might be proper to give a few sketches 
of some of the principal ones. 

136 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

THE RA\'EN 

A very handsome bird, numerous here in pioneer times, now extinct in 
Jefferson County, but still to be found in about twenty northern counties of 
the State. He built his nest on the tallest pine-trees. He belonged to the 
crow family. He had a wonderful intellect. He could learn to talk cor- 
rectly, and was a very apt scholar ; he was easily tamed, and would follow 
like a dog. He lived to an extreme old age, probably one hundred years. 
He was blue-black, like the common crow. He made his home in the solitude 
of the forest, preferring the wildest and most hilly sections. In such regions, 
owing to his intellect and strength, his supremacy was never questioned, 
unless bv the eagle. He understood fire-arms and could count five. In the 




fall of the year he would feast on the saddles of venison the hunters would 
hang on a tree, and the Longs adopted this method to save their meat : Take 
a small piece of muslin, wet it, and rub it all over with gunpowder ; sharpen 
a stick and pin this cloth to the venison. The raven and crow would smell 
this powder and keep away from the venison. He was a mischievous bird of 
rare intelligence. He looked inquiringly at you, as if he understood you. 
When full grown he measured twenty-two or twenty-six inches from tip of 
nose to end of tail. In Greenland white ones have been seen. The eggs were 
from two to seven, colored, and about two inches long. 



THE " BALD EAGLE, OUR NATIONAL EMBLEM 

The name '' Bald" which is given to this species is not applied because 
the head is bare, but because the feathers of the neck and head of adults are 

137 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

pure white. In Northwestern Pennsylvania, as well as throughout the United 
States, we had but two species of eagles, the bald and the golden. The 
" Black," " Gray," and " Washington" eagles are but the young of the bald 
eagle. Vhree years, it is stated, are required before this species assumes the 
adult plumage.' The bald eagle is still found in Pennsylvania at all seasons 




Bald eagle 

of the year. I have seen some that measured eight feet from tip to tip of 
wing. 

" The nest, a bulky affair, built usually on a large tree, mostly near the 
water, is about four or five feet in diameter. It is made up chiefly of large 
sticks, lined inside with grass, leaves, etc. The eggs, commonly two, rarely 
three, are white, and they measure about three by two and a half inches. A 
favorite article of food with this bird is fish, which he obtains mainly by 
strategy and rapine. Occasionally, however, according to different observers, 
the bald eagle will do his own fishing. Geese and brant form their favorite 
food, and the address displayed in their capture is very remarkable. The 
poor victim has apparently not the slightest chance for escape. The eagle's 

138 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

flight, ordinarily slow and somewhat heavy, becomes, in the excitement of 
pursuit, exceedingly swift and graceful, and the fugitive is quickly over- 
taken. When close upon its quarry the eagle suddenly sweeps beneath it, 
and turning back downward, thrusts its powerful talons up into its breast. 
A brant or duck is carried ofl: bodily to the nearest marsh or sand-bar. But 
a Canada goose is too heavy to be thus easily disposed of; the two great 
birds fall together to the water beneath, while the eagle literally tows his 
prize along the surface until the shore is reached. In this way one has been 
known to drag a large goose for nearly half a mile. 

" The bald eagle occasionally devours young pigs, lambs, and fawns. 
Domestic fowls, wild turkeys, hares, etc., are also destroyed by this species. 




Wild turke> 



I have knowledge of at least two of these birds which have killed poultry 
(tame ducks and turkeys) along the Susquehanna River. Sometimes, like the 
golden eagle, this species will attack raccoons and skunks. I once found two 
or three spines of a porcupine in the body of an immature bald eagle. The 
golden eagle occurs in this State as a winter visitor. The only species with 
which it is sometimes compared is the bald eagle in immature dress. The 
two birds, however, can be distinguished at a glance, if you remember that 
the golden eagle has the tarsus (shin) densely feathered to the toes, while, 
on the other hand, the bald eagle has a bare shin. The golden eagle breeds in 
high mountainous regions and the Arctic countries. 

139 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" Golden eagles are rather rare in this region, hence their depredations 
to pouhry, game, and live-stock occasion comparatively little loss. Domestic 
fowls, ducks, and turkeys especially, are often devoured ; different species of 
water-birds, grouse, and wild turkeys suffer chiefly among the game birds. 
Fawns are sometimes attacked and killed ; occasionally it destroys young pigs, 
and frequently many lambs are carried off by this powerful bird. Rabbits are 
preyed upon to a considerable extent." 

Of our birds, the eagle is the largest, swiftest in flight, and keenest-eyed, 
the humming-bird the smallest, the coot the slowest, and the owl the dullest. 

The spring birds, such as the bluebird, the robin, the sparrow, and the 
martin, were early to come and late to leave. 

" Migrating birds fly over distances so great that they must needs have 
great strength as well as great speed in flight. Bobolinks often rear their 
young on the shores of Lake Winnipeg, and, like true aristocrats, go to 
Cuba and Porto Rico to spend the winter. To do this their flight must twice 
cover a distance of more than two thousand eight hundred miles, or more 
than a fifth of the circumference of the earth, each year. 

" The little redstart travels three thousand miles twice a year, and the 
tiny humming-bird two thousand. What wonderful mechanism it is that in 
a stomach no larger than a pea will manufacture its own fuel from two or 
three slim caterpillars, a fly, a moth, or a spider, and use it with such economy 
as to be able to propel itself through the air during the whole night at a rate 
of about fifty miles per hour, and at the same time keep its own temperature 
at about one hundred and four degrees." 

I reproduce from Olive Thome Miller's Lectures the following, — viz. : 

" There are matrimonial quarrels also among birds. As a rule, the female 
is queen of the nest, but once I saw a male sparrow assert his power. He was 
awfully angry, and tried to oust his spouse from a hole in a maple-tree in 
which they had made their home. He did drive her out at last, and absolutely 
divorced her, for he was back before long with a bride whom, with some 
trouble and a good many antics, he coaxed to accept the nest. 

" The female bird is the queen of the home, and usually selects the place 
for the nest, the male bird sometimes lending a beak in building it, but most 
of the time singing his sweet song to encourage his mate. 

" That the female is queen is shown by a little story related of a sparrow. 
She was hatching her eggs, and was reTieved now and then by her mate while 
she went off for exercise and food. One day the male bird was late and the 
female called loudly for him. He came at last, and she gave him an unmer- 
ciful drubbing, which he took without a murmur. Thoroughly ashamed of 
himself, he sat down meekly on the eggs. 

" The robin is the most familiar of our birds. Running over the lawns, 
with head down, it suddenly grabs a worm, which it shakes as a cat does a 
mouse. Having swallowed it, the robin looks up with infinite pride. They 

140 




BLUE JAY 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

are great insect-destroyers, though they insist on having the earHest spring 
peas and the first mulberries, raspberries, and grapes. The robin is the great 
enemy of the bird observer, giving warning of his approach to every bird in 
the neighboring thickets. They are brave, and will help any bird in distress. 
A sparrow-hawk had seized an English sparrow, one of the robin's worst 
enemies, but the robin attacked the hawk so viciously that it released the 
sparrow. In another instance a cat had captured a young robin, but was so 
fearlessly attacked by an older bird that she parted with her tender meal and 
sought shelter under the barn. 

" The robins make charming but most mischievous pets. I heard of a 
case where a child helped bring up a brood of these birds. When they were 
fledged they would follow her about the yard like a flock of chickens. The 
woodpecker, robin, and many other birds have very acute hearing. Did you 
ever see one of these birds cock his head and listen for the sounds of a worm ? 

" The wood-thrush or wood-robin is of a shy and retiring nature, fre- 
quenting thick woods and tangled undergrowth, and at daybreak and sundown 
this bird carols forth its thankfulness for a day begun and a day ended. The 
nest is made in some low tree, with little or no mud in its composition, and 
contains from four to six eggs. The veery, or tawny thrush, is a wonderful 
songster, but a most retiring bird. 

" The American cuckoo, unlike her English cousin, builds her own nest, 
and is a most devoted parent. These birds, with white breast, are numerous 
here in the summer, and the male bird's courting is most grotesque. After 
each note he makes a profound bow to the mate, and then opens his mouth 
as wide as possible, as if about to emit a loud cry, but only the feeblest of 
' coos' dan be heard. 

" The blue-jay, though one of our best-known birds, is greatly misunder- 
stood. It is said he is always quarrelling and fighting, whereas really he is 
only full of frolic and mischief and is a most affectionate bird, and instead of 
tyrannizing over other birds is most kind to them. These birds have shared 
a room with a dozen others much smaller than themselves and were never 
known to molest them. They will defend their young against all comers, and 
James Russell Lowell tells a story of discovering three young birds who were 
held to their nest by a string, in which they had got entangled. He deter- 
mined to cut them loose. The old birds flew at him at first, but on learning 
what his object was, sat quietly within reach of him, watching the operation, 
and when the birds were released noisily thanked him. 

" A story is told of the frolicsomeness of this bird. One was seated on 
a fence-rail, and two kittens, having espied him, essayed to stalk him. They 
got up near him; then he began playing leap-frog over those two kittens 
until they returned full of offended dignity to the house. The bird tried to 
coax them out to a game several times afterwards, but the kittens had had 

enough of it. 

141 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" The kingbird is said to fight and drive away every bird that comes 
near it, but this is a Hbel. He attends to his own business almost wholly, and 
though not particularly social, is no more belligerent in the bird world than 
most birds are when they have nests to protect. He is a character, and 
interesting to watch. 

" The shrike, or butcher-bird, has imputed to him the worst character of 
any of our birds. He is not only accused of killing birds, but of impaling 
them afterwards on thorns. That he does kill birds is undoubted, but only 
when other food is scarce, for he much prefers field-mice, grasshoppers, and 
other noxious insects. That he impales his prey is certain, and the reason 
for this is, I think, that he has such small, delicate feet that they are not 
strong enough to hold down a mouse or insect while he tears it to pieces. 

" Blackbirds are gregarious, forming blackbird cities in the tops of trees. 
He and the fishhawk have a strange friendship for one another, often three 
or four pairs building their nests in the straggling outskirts of the hawk's 
large nest, and they unite in protecting one another. 

" The red-winged blackbirds are the most independent of birds, as far as 
the two sexes are concerned. The dull brown-streaked females come up in 
flocks some time after the males have arrived, and as soon as the breeding 
season is over they separate again, the males keeping to the marshes, while 
the females seek shelter in the uplands, but always near water. They nest 
in marshy places, and insist on plenty of water. 

" The cowbird is undoubtedly the most unpopular of this class of birds, 
simply from' the fact that no nest is built, the egg always being placed in the 
nest of some vireo, warbler, or sparrow, and the rearing of one of these birds 
means the loss of at least two song-birds, for they always smother the rightful 
owners. The popular idea that the foster-parents are unaware of this strange 
egg is doubtful. I believe it to be another instance of the great good nature 
of the birds to the young of any sort. The cowbirds nearly kill with overwork 
whatever birds they have been foisted on. 

" The bobolink, who later in the year becomes the reed- or rice-bird, is a 
handsome bird in his plumage of black and white and buff. The female is a 
quieter-colored bird. While breeding they are voracious insect-eaters, but 
when they get down to the rice marshes it is almost impossible to drive them 
away. A hawk seems to be the only thing they are afraid of. 

" The Baltimore oriole is one of the most beautiful and best-known birds. 
Its long, pendant, woven nest is known to every one, and it is wonderful how 
the bird, with only its beak, can build such a splendid structure. They have 
been known to use wire in the structure of their nests. 

"The meadow-lark, one of the largest of this family, is a wonderful 
smger, sitting on a fence-rail, carolling forth its quivering silvery song All 
these birds, except the oriole, walk while hunting for food, and do not hop 
as most other birds do. 

1^2 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" The crow does not belong to the blackbird family, but owing to his 
uniform I will speak about him. Much has been said against him, but the 
truth is that he is a most useful bird in killing mice, snakes, lizards, and frogs, 
and is a splendid scavenger. He has been persecuted for so many generations 
that perhaps he is the most knowing and wary of birds. He will always flee 
from a man with a gun, though paying little attention to the ordinary pedes- 
trian. These birds are gregarious in their habits, and make their large, untidy 
nests at the tops of trees. 

" They have regular roosting-places, and, curious to say, it is not first 
come first served. As each flock reaches the sleeping-grove they sit around 
on the ground, and it is only when the last wanderer returns that they all rise 
simultaneously and scramble for nests. Crows as pets are intensely funny." 




Crow 



A crow can be taught to talk. It is said by bird students that crows have 
a language distinctly their own, and, further, that some of their language 
can be translated into ours. I have often noticed that while a flock of crows 
are feeding on the ground, two sentinels are posted to give an alarm of any 
danger. It is said that if these sentinels fail to perform their duty, the flock 
will execute one or both of them. A friend of mine living about three miles 
from Brookville is very fond of raising crows as pets. I visited him several 
years ago when he had an interesting fellow. This crow used to carry tid- 
bits to the woods to the other crows. When the crows were getting ready 
to migrate in the fall they called this pet one down to the edge of the woods. 
After a talk they flew on the pet and tore him to pieces. I asked Mr. McAdoo 
why they did that. Mr. McAdoo said he thought it was because the " pet" 
refused to migrate with them. Crows mate for life. A crow knows when 

Sunday comes. 

143 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

'■ In July, when nesting is over, there are no more frolicsome birds than 
the highholes,' or woodpeckers. They are like boys out of school, and actually 
seem to play games with each other, one that looks very much like ' tag' bemg 

a favorite. 

" The young of these birds never cease in their clamor for food, and 
even when they have left their hole-nest they are fed by the parent birds. 

'■ The feeding process is a strange one. The old one half loses its long 
bill down the throat of the youngster, and from its crop gives up a sufficient 
supply of half-digested food for a full meal. 

" The courtship of these birds is exquisitely quaint, and a correspondent 
has given an account of a game, or dance, in which they began with a waltz 




Woodpeckers 

of an odd sort and went through various evolutions, ending with crossing 
their beaks, and standing so for a moment before they drew back and did the 
whole thing over. 

" The downy woodpecker is particularly fond of apple-trees, and though 
popularly supposed to be an enemy of the orchard, is in reality one of its 
greatest friends. They tunnel for the worms, and it has been conclusively 
proved that trees drilled with their holes have long outlived in usefulness 
the trees unvisited by these birds. 

" The clown of the family is the red-headed woodpecker, which, as well 
as the others shown, is a Pennsylvanian, and a most original and cpaint char- 

144 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

acter. He has been studied for many years in Ohio and many of his tricks 
described by Mr. Keyser, of that State. He lays up food for the winter, and 
in places where he has been accustomed to depend on the sweet beechnut for 
provisions he refuses to stay when the nut crop fails, but at once betakes 
himself to a more inviting region. 

" The sapsucker, or yellow-breasted woodpecker, was shown with his 
mate and a young one, and his characteristics defended against the charge of 
sap sucking, which has been made against him. Sufficient evidence from 
several scientific ornithologists was produced to show that the bird is insec- 
tivorous in a great degree, and the small amount of sap he may drink is well 
paid for by the insects he consumes. 

" The junco, or snowbird, is often found in flocks, except in the nesting 
season. Their favorite resting-place is in the roots of trees that have been 
blown over. That birds are considerate of one another is certain. I know 
of a case where a family had fed a flock of j uncos during a long spell of cold 
weather. They got so tame that they would come up to the stoop to be fed; 
but it was noticed that one bird always remained on the fence and the other 
ones fed it. On examination, it was found that the bird had an injured 
wing, and in case of sudden danger would not have been able to leave with 
the flock in the rush, so it was left in a place of safety and fed. 

" The snow-bunting is to be seen in our part of the world only in blizzard 
times, or when there are snow-scurries around." — Miller. 

OF HAWKS 

The red-shouldered hawk, called by farmers and hunters the hen-hawk, 
nests in trees in April or May. The eggs are two to four, white and blotched, 
with shades of brown. The nest is built of sticks, bark, etc. 

The goshawk was a regular breeder in our woods and mountains. He is 
a fierce and powerful bird. The hawk feeds upon wild turkeys, pheasants, 
ducks, chickens, robins, rabbits, and squirrels. The cooper-hawk, known as 
the long-tailed chicken-hawk, is an audacious poultry thief, capturing full- 
grown chickens. This hawk also feeds upon pigeons, pheasants, turkeys, and 
squirrels. This bird nests about May in thick woods, the nest containing 
four or five eggs. In about twelve weeks the young are able to care for 
themselves. The sharp-shinned hawk bears a close resemblance to the cooper, 
but feeds by choice upon young chickens and pullets, young turkeys, young 
rabbits, and squirrels. If a pair of these birds should nest near a cabin where 
chickens were being raised, in a very few days they would steal every one. 

When I was a boy large nestings of wild (passenger) pigeons in what 
was then Jenks, Tionesta, and Ridgway Townships occurred every spring. 
These big roosts were occupied annually early in April each year. Millions 
of pigeons occupied these roosts, and they were usually four or five miles 
long and from one to three miles wide. No other bird was ever known to 
10 145 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

migrate in such numbers. They fed on beechnuts, etc. In this territory 
every tree would be occupied, some with fifty nests. These pigeons swept 
over Brookville on their migration to these roosts, and would be three or four 
days in passing, making the day dark at times. The croakings of the pigeons 
in these roosts could be heard for miles. 




Red-shouldered hawk 



The coopers and the bloody goshawk, the great-horned and barred owls, 
like other night wanderers, such as the wild bear, panther, wolf, wild-cat, 
Ivnx, fox, the mink, and agile weasel, all haunted these roosts and feasted 
upon these pigeons. The weasel would climb the tree for the pigeons' eggs 
and the young, or to capture the old birds when at rest. The fox, lynx, mink, 
etc., depended on catching the squabs that fell from the nests. 

Like the buffaloes of this region, the wild pigeon is doomed. These once 
common birds are only to be seen occasionally. Isolated and scattered pairs 
still find a breeding-place in our wilds, but the immense breeding colonies 
that once visited Northwestern Pennsylvania will never be seen again. The 
extermination of the passenger pigeon has gone on so rapidly that in another 

146 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLA^ANIA 

decade the birds may become a rarity. The only thing that will save the 
birds from this fate is the fact that they no longer resort to the more thickly 
populated States as breeding-places, but By far into the woods along our 
northern border. Thirty years ago wild pigeons were found in New York 
State, and in Elk, Warren, McKean, Pike, and Cameron Counties, Pennsyl- 




American goshawk 

vania, but now they only figure as migrants, with a few pairs breeding in the 
beech-woods. 

To give an idea of the immensity of these pigeon-roosts, I quote from the 
Elk Advocate as late as May, 185 1 : 

" The American Express Company carried in one day, over the New 
York and Erie Railroad, over seven tons of pigeons to the New York market, 
and all of these were from the west of Corning. This company alone have 
carried over this road from the counties of Chemung, Steuben, and Allegheny 
fifty-six tons of pigeons." 

As late as March, 1854, they came in such clouds for days that I was tired 
of looking at them and of the noise of the shooters. 

The wild pigeon lays usually one or two eggs, and both birds do their 

147 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

share of the incubating. The females occupy the nest from two p.m. until the 
next morning, and the males from nine or ten a.m. until two p.m. The males 
usually feed twice each day, while the females feed only during the forenoon. 
The old pigeons never feed near the nesting-places, always allowing the 
beechmast, buds, etc., there for use in feeding their young when they come 
forth. The birds go many miles to feed, — often a hundred or more. 







Sharp-shinned hawk 

Pigeons do not drink like any other bird. They drink like the ox or cow, 
and they nourish the young pigeon for the first week of his life from 
"pigeon milk," a curd-like substance secreted in the crop of both parents 
profusely during the incubating season. We had but two varieties,— the 
" wild," and turtle-doves. 

Our birds migrate every fall to Tennessee, the Carolinas, and as far 
south as Florida. Want of winter food is and was the cause of that migration 
for those that remained surely picked up a poor living. Migrating birds 
return year after year to the same localitv. In migrating northward in the 
sprmg, the males usually precede the females several days, but on leaving 
their summer scenes of love and joy for the south, the sexes act in unison. 

148 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

Of the other pioneer birds, there was the orchard-oriole, pine-grosbeak; 
rose-breasted grosbeak, swallow, barn-swallow, ruff-winged swallow, bank 
swallow, black and white warbler, chestnut-sided warbler, barn-owl, American 
long-eared owl, short-eared owl, screech-owl, great-horned owl, yellow-billed 
cuckoo, black-billed cuckoo, kingbird, crested flycatcher, phcebe-bird, wood- 
pewee, least flycatcher, ruffed grouse (pheasant, or partridge), quail, also 




Wild pigeon 



known as the bob-white, marsh-hawk, sparrow-hawk, pigeon-hawk, fish-hawk, 
red-tailed hawk, American ruff-legged hawk, horned grebe, loon, hooded 
merganser, wood-duck, buff-headed duck, red-headed duck, American bittern, 
least bittern, blue heron, green heron, black-crowned night-heron, Virginia 




Grouse or Pheasant 

rail, Carolina rail, American coot, American woodcock, Wilson's snipe, least 
sandpiper, killdeer plover, belted kingfisher, turtle-dove, turkey-buzzard, whip- 
poorwill, nighthawk, ruby-throated humming-bird, blue-jay, bobolink, or reed- 
or rice-bird, purple grackle, cowbird (cow-bunting), red-winged blackbird, 
American grosbeak, red-poll, American goldfinch, or yellow-bird, towhee- 

149 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

bunting, cardinal- or redbird, indigo bunting, scarlet tanager, cedar- or cherry- 
bird, butcher-bird, or great northern scarlet tanager, red-eyed vireo, American 




Blue-jay 



redstart, cootbird, brown thrush, bluebird, house-wren, wood-wren, white- 
breasted nuthatch, chickadee, golden-crowned knight. 




Raven 

Eagle 

Crow 

Goose 

Sparrowhawk ^o 

Crane 

Peacock 

Lark 



Humming-birds 

NATURAL LIFE OF SOME OF OUR BIRDS. 

Years, 



lOO 

loo 

I DO 

5° 



Years. 

Pheasant 15 

Partridge 15 

Blackbird 

ComiTLon fowl 

Robin 

Thrush 

Wren 



150 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

WILD BEES BEE-HUNTING, BEE-TREES, BEE-FOOD, ETC. 

" How doth the little busy bee 
Improve each shining hour, 
And gather honey all the day 
From every opening flower." 

In pioneer times these woods were alive with bee-trees, and even yet that 
condition prevails in the forest part of this region, as the following article on 
bees, from the pen of E. C. Niver, clearly describes : 

" Although the natural range of bee-pasturage in this section is practi- 
cally unlimited, singular to relate, apiculture is not pursued to any great 
extent. With all the apparently favorable conditions, the occupation is too 
uncertain and precarious to hazard much capital or time on it. At the best, 
apiculture is an arduous occupation, and in the most thickly populated farming 
communities it requires constant vigilance to keep track of runaway swarms. 
But in this rugged mountain country, with its thousands of acres of hemlock 




slashings and hard-wood ridges, it is virtually impossible to keep an extensive 
apiary within bounds. The rich pasturage of the forests and mountain barrens 
affords too great a temptation, and although the honey-bee has been the pur- 
veyor of sweets for the ancients as far back as history reaches, she has never 
yet become thoroughly domesticated. At swarming time the nomadic instinct 
asserts itself. Nature lures and beckons, and the first opportunity is embraced 
to regain her fastness and subsist upon her bounty. Never a season goes by 
but what some swarms escape to the woods. These take up their habitation 
in hollow trees or some other favorable retreat, and in time throw off other 
swarms. Thus it is that our mountains and forests contain an untold wealth 
of sweetness, but little of which is ever utilized by man. 

" Here is the opportunity of the bee-hunter. In the backwoods counties 
of Western Pennsylvania bee-hunting is as popular a sport with some as deer- 
hunting or trout-fishing. It does not have nearly so many devotees, perhaps, 
as these latter sports, for the reason that a greater degree of woodcraft, skill, 
and patience is required to become a proficient bee-hunter. Any baekwoods- 

151 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

man can search out and stand guard at a deer runway, watch a lick, or follow 
a trail ; and his skill with a rifle, in the use of which he is familiar from his 
early boyhood, insures him an equal chance in the pursuit of game. It does 
not require any nice display of woodcraft to tramp over the mountains to the 
head of the trout stream, with a tin spice-box full of worms, cut an ash 
sapling, equip it with the hook and line, and fish the stream down to its mouth. 
But to search out a small insect as it sips the nectar from the blossoms, trace 
it to its home, and successfully despoil it of its hoarded stores, requires a 
degree of skill and patience that comparatively few care to attain. Yet in 
every community of this section are some old fellows who do not consider life 
complete without a crockful of strained honey in the cellar when winter sets 
in. Then, as they sit with their legs under the kitchen-table while their wives 
bake smoking-hot buckwheat cakes, the pungent flavor of decayed wood which 
the honey imparts to their palates brings back the glory of the chase. When- 
ever a man takes to bee-hunting he is an enthusiastic devotee, and with him 
all other sport is relegated to the background. 

" There are many methods employed in hunting the wild honey-bee. 
The first essential is a knowledge of bees and their habits. This can only be 
acquired by experience and intelligent observation. The man who can suc- 
cessfully ' line' bees can also successfully ' keep' them in a domestic state, but 
a successful apiarist is not necessarily a good bee-hunter. 

" September and October are the best months for securing wild honey, 
as the bees have then in the main completed their stores. At that season they 
can also be most readily lined, for the scarcity of sweets makes them more 
susceptible to artificial bait. But the professional bee-hunter does not, as a 
rule, wait until fall to do all his lining. He wants to know what is in pros- 
pect, and by the time the honey-bee suspends operations for the winter the 
hunter has perhaps a dozen bee-trees located which he has been watching all 
summer in order to judge as near as possible as to the amount of stored 
honey they contain. If the hunter wants to save the bees he cuts the tree in 
June and hives the inmates in the same manner as when they swarm in a 
domestic state. Many swarms, are thus obtained, and the hunter scorns to 
expend any money for a swarm of bees which he can get for the taking. As 
a matter of course, when the honey is taken in the fall the bees, being de- 
spoiled of their subsistence, inevitably perish. 

" ' I'll gather the honey-comb bright as gold, 
And chase the elk to his secret fold.' 

" The first warm days of April, when the snows have melted from the 
south side of the hills, and the spring runs are clear of ice, find the bee-hunter 
on the alert. There is nothing yet for the bees to feed upon, but a few of the 
advance-guard are emerging from their long winter's hibernations in search 
of pollen and water, and they instinctively seek the water's edge where the 

i.';2 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

warm rays of the sun beat down. Where the stream has receded from the 
bank, leaving a miniature muddy beach, there the bees congregate, dabbling 
in the mud, sipping water and carrying it away. The first material sought for 
by the bees is pollen, and the earliest pasturage for securing this is the pussy- 
willow and skunk-cabbage, which grow in the swamps. After these comes the 
soft maple, which also affords a large supply of pollen. Sugar-maple is 
among the first wild growth which furnishes any honey. Then come the 
wild cherry, the locust, and the red raspberries and blackberries. Of course, 
the first blossoms and the cultivated plants play an important part, but the 
profusion of wild flowers which are honey-bearing would probably supply as 
much honey to the acre as the cultivated sections. 

" The wild honeysuckle, which covers thousands of acres of the moun- 
tain ranges with a scarlet flame in May, is a particular favorite with bees, as 
is also the tulip-tree, which is quite abundant in this section. Basswood honey 
has a national reputation, and before the paper-wood cutters despoiled the 
ridges and forests the basswood-tree furnished an almost unlimited feeding- 
ground. This tree blooms for a period of two or three weeks, and a single 
swarm has been known to collect ten pounds of honey in a day when this 
flower was in blossom. Devil's-club furnishes another strong feed for bees, 
as well as the despised sumach. Last, but not least, .is the golden-rod, which 
in this latitude lasts from August until killed by the autumn frosts. While 
these are the chief wild-honey producing trees and plants, they are but a 
fractional part of the honey resources of the country. 

" Having discovered the feeding-ground and haunts of the wild honey- 
bee, the hunter proceeds to capture a bee and trace it to its habitation. This 
is done by ' lining,' — that is, following the bee's flight to its home. The 
bee always flies in a direct line to its place of abode, and this wonderful instinct 
gives rise to the expression, ' a bee-line.' 

" To assist in the chase the hunter provides himself with a ' bee-box,' 
which is any small box possessing a lid, with some honey inside for bait. 
Arrived at any favorable feeding-ground, the hunter eagerly scans the blos- 
soms until he finds a bee at work. This he scoops into his box and closes the 
lid. If he can capture two or more bees at once, so much the better. After 
buzzing angrily for a few moments in the darkened box the bee scents the 
honey inside and immediately quiets down and begins to work. Then the box 
is set down and the lid opened. When the bee gets all the honey she can 
carry she mounts upward with a rapid spiral motion until she gets her bear- 
ings, and then she is off like a shot in a direct line to her habitation. Pres- 
ently she is back again, and this time when she departs her bearings are 
located and she goes direct. After several trips more bees appear, and when 
they get to working the bait and the line of their flight is noted, the box is 
closed when the bees are inside and moved forward along the direction in 
which they have been coming and going. The hunter carefully marks his 

IS3 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

trail and opens the box again. The bees are apparently unconscious that they 
have been moved, and work as before. This manoeuvre is repeated until the 
spot where the swarm is located is near at hand, and then comes the most 
trying part of the quest to discover the exact location of the hive. Sometimes 
it is in the hollow of a dead tree away to the top; sometimes it is near the 
bottom. Again, it may be in a hollow branch of a living tree of gigantic pro- 
portions, closely hidden in the foliage, or it may be in an old stump or log. 
To search it out requires the exercise of much patience, as well as a quick eye 
and an acute ear. 

" To determine the distance of the improvised hive after a line has been 
established from the bee-box the hunter resorts to ' cross-lining.' This is 
done by moving the box when the bees are at work in it some distance to one 
side. The bees as usual fly direct to their home, the second line of flight 
converging with the first, forming the apex of a triangle, the distance between 
the first and second locations of the box being the base and the two lines of 
flight the sides. Where the lines meet the habitation is to be found. 

" Different kinds of bait are frequently used in order to induce the bees 
to work the box. In the flowering season a little anise or other pungent oil 
is rubbed on the box to attract the bees and keep them from being turned 
aside by the wealth of blossoms along their flight. It is a mistake to mix the 
^ oil with the bait, as it spoils the honey the bees make and poisons the whole 
swarm. Sometimes in the early spring corn-cobs soaked in stagnant brine 
proves an attractive bait, while late in the fall beeswax burned on a heated 
stone will bring the belated straggler to the bee-box. 

" Cutting a bee-tree is the adventuresome part of the sport. An angry 
swarm is a formidable enemy. Then, too, the treasure for which the hunter 
is in search is about to be revealed, and the possibilities bring a thrill of 
anticipation and excitement. So far as the danger goes the experienced 
hunter is prepared for that, and protects his head and face by a bag of 
mosquito-netting drawn over a broad-brimmed hat. With gloves on his 
hands he is tolerably protected, but sometimes a heavy swarm breaks through 
the netting, and instances are on record where bee-hunters have been so 
severely stung in despoiling wild swarms as to endanger their lives. In felling 
a tree great care must be exercised in order that the tree may not break up 
and destroy the honey. Sometimes trees are felled after night, as bees do not 
swarm about in the darkness, and the danger of getting stung is not so great. 

"The amount of honey secured depends upon the age of the swarm. 
Frequently much time and labor have been expended in lining and cutting a 
tree which yielded nothing, while again the returns have been large. There 
are mstances in this community where a single tree yielded over two hundred 
pounds of good honey. Not long since a hunter cut a tree in which a hollow 
space about eighteen inches in diameter was filled with fine honey for a length 
of fifteen feet. Often a tree is cut which has been worked so long that part 

154 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

of the honey is spoiled with age. Often the comb is broken and the honey 
mingled with the decayed wood of the tree. The bee-hunter, however, care- 
fully gathers up the honey, wood and all, in a tin pail, and strains it, and the 
pungent flavor of the wood does not in the least detract from the quality in 
his estimation. 

" Bee-hunting as a sport could still be pursued in nearly every section of 
Western Pennsjdvania, particularly in the lumbering and tannery districts. 
In these sections thousands of acres are annually stripped of timber, extend- 
ing many miles back from the settled districts. Fire runs through these old 
slashings every year or so, and a dense growth of blackberry and raspberry 
briers spring up. These, with the innumerable varieties of wild flowers, afiford 
a rich and vast pasturage for the honey-bee which has thrown off the restraints 
of civilization. Swarm upon swarm is propagated, the surplus product of 
which is never utilized. With a little encouragement bee-hunting might 
become as popular a form of sport with the dweller of the town as with the 
skilled woodsman." 

The bee was imported, and is a native of Asia. 




CHAPTER VII 



BILL LONG, THE KING HUNTER THE HUNTER OF HUNTERS IN THIS WIL- 
DERNESS — SOME OF THE ADVENTURES AND INCIDENTS IN THE LIFE OF 
" BILL long" FROM HIS CHILDHOOD UNTIL HE WAS SEVENTY YEARS 
OF AGE 



I PAUSE here to tell the story of Bill Long, the " king hunter." William 
Long, a son of Louis (Ludwig) Long, was born near Reading, Berks County, 
Pennsylvania, in 1794. His father and mother were Germans. In the 
summer of 1803, Louis Long, with his family, moved into this wilderness and 
settled near Port Barnett (now the McConnell farm). Ludwig Long's family 
consisted of himself, wife, and eleven children,^nine sons and two daughters, 
• — William, the subject of this sketch, being the second child. The Barnetts 
were the only neighbors of the Longs. Louis Long brought with him a small 
" still" and six flint-lock guns, the only kind in use at that time. It was not 
until about the year 1830 that the percussion-cap rifles were first used, and 
they were not in general use here for some years after that. Guns were 
invented by a German named Swartz, about 1378. As soon as Mr. Long 
raised some grain he commenced to operate his " still" and manufacture 
whiskey, this being the first manufactured west of the mountains and east of 
the Allegheny River. 

This part of Pennsylvania was then the hunting-grounds of the Seneca 
Indians, — Cornplanter tribe. The still-house of Long soon became the resort 
for these Indians. Pittsburg was the nearest market for pelts, furs, etc., and 
the only place to secure flour and other necessaries. From the mouth of Red 
Bank Creek these goods had to be poled up to Barnett's in canoes. By scoop- 
ing the channel, wading, and polling, a round trip to the mouth could be made 
in from one to two weeks. Although the woods swarmed with Seneca Indians, 
as a rule, they never committed any depredations. 

In the summer of 1804, when William was ten years old, he killed his 
first deer. One morning his father sent him into the woods for the cows. 
Nature was resplendent with verdure. William carried with him a flint-lock 
gun, and when a short distance from the house he found the cows and a deer 
feeding with them. This was William's opportunity. He shot and killed this 
deer, and, as a reward for merit, his father gave him a flint-lock gun as a 
present. This circumstance determined his course in life, for from that day 
until his death it was his delight to roam in the forest and pursue wild animals, 

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HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

and hunting- was his onl)- business. He was a " professional hunter," a " still 
hunter," or a man who hunted alone. 

In the summer of 1804 William went with his mother to Ligonier, in 
Westmoreland County, to get some provisions. The only road was an Indian 
path, the distance sixty miles. They rode through the brush on a horse, and 
made the trip in about five days. 




Bill Long, the king hunter of Northwestern Pennsylvania 



The Indians soon became civilized, as far as drinking whiskey and getting 
drunk was an evidence. They visited this still-house for debauchery and 
drunken carnivals. As a safeguard to himself and family, Louis Long had a 
strong box made to keep the guns and knives of these Indians in while these 
orgies were occurring. The Indians desired him to do this. Mr. Long 
never charged the Indians for this whiskey, although they always offered 

157 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

pelts and furs when they sobered up. In consideration of this generosity, the 
Indians, in broken EngHsh, always called Louis Long, " Good man ; give 
Indian whiskey. Indian fight pale-face; Indian come one hundred miles to 
give ' good man' warning." 

Ludwig Long kept his boys busy in the summer months clearing land, 
farming, etc. The boys had their own time in winter. Then William, with 
his gun and traps, traversed the forest, away from the ocean's tide, with no 
inlet or outlet but winding paths used by the deer when he wished to slake his 
thirst in the clear, sparkling water of the North Fork. 

The boy hunter, to keep from being lost while on the trail, followed up 
one side of this creek and always came down on the opposite. When he grew 
older he ventured farther and farther into the wilderness, but always keeping 
the waters of the North Fork, Mill Creek, and Sandy Lick within range until 
he became thoroughly educated with the country and woods. 

In his boyhood he frequently met and hunted in company with Indians. 
The Indians were friendly to him on account of his father's relations to them, 
and it was these Indians that gave William his first lessons in the art of 
hunting. Young William learned the trick of calling wolves in this way. 
One day his father and he went out for a deer. William soon shot a large 
one, and while skinning this deer they heard a pack of wolves howl. William 
told his father to lie down and be ready to shoot, and he would try the Indian 
method of " howling" or calling wolves up to you. His father consented, 
and William howled and the wolves answered. William kept up the howls 
and the wolves answered, coming closer and closer, until his father became 
scared; but William wouldn't stop until the wolves got so close that he and 
his father had to fire on the pack, killing two, when the others took fright and 
ran away. The bounty for killing wolves then was eight dollars apiece. A 
short time after this William and his father went up Sandy to watch an elk- 
lick, and at this point they killed an elk and started for home. On the way 
home they found where a pack of about twenty wolves had crossed their 
path, near where the town of Reynoldsville now is. Looking up the hill on 
the right side of Sandy they espied the whole pack, and, both father and son 
firing into the pack, they killed two of them. William then commenced to 
"howl," and one old wolf through curiosity came to the top of the hill, 
looking down at the hunters. For this bravery William shot him through the 
head. On their return home that day Joseph Barnett treated them both to 
whiskey and " tansy," for, said he, " the wolves this day have killed one of 
my cows." When Long was still a young man, one day he went up the North 
Fork to hunt. About sundown he shot a deer, and when he had it dressed 
there came up a heavy rain. Being forced to stay all night, he took the pelt 
and covered himself with it, and lay down under the bank to sleep. After 
midnight he awoke, and found himself covered with sticks and leaves. In 
a minute he knew this was the work of a panther hunting food for her cubs, 

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HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

and that she would soon return. He therefore prepared a pitch-pme fagot, 
Ht it, and hid the burning fagot under the bank and awaited the coming of 
the panther. In a short time after this preparation was completed the animal 
returned with her cubs, and when she was within about thirty feet of him, 
Long thrust his torch up and out, and when it blazed up brightly the panther 
gave out a yell and ran away. 

The wild carnivorous animals are found in all parts of the world, except 
Australia, the Dingo dog being imported there. 

John Long and William started out one morning on Sandy Lick to have 
a bear-hunt, taking with them nine dogs. William had been sent out the day 
before with two dogs, and had a skirmish with a bear on Sandy Lick, near 
where Fuller's Station now stands. The two brothers went to this point and 
found the track, and chased the bear across the creek at Rocky Bend, the 
bear making for a windfall ; but the dogs stopped him before he reached the 
windfall and commenced the fight. They soon heard some of the dogs giving 
death-yells. They both hurried to the scene of conflict, and the sight they 
beheld was three favorite dogs stretched out dead and the balance fight- 
ing. William ran in and placed the muzzle of his gun against bruin's breast 
and fired. The bear then backed up to the root of a large hemlock, sitting 
upright and grabbing for dogs. John and William then fired, and both balls 
entered bruin's head, not more than an inch apart. In this melee three dogs 
were killed and the other six badly wounded. When William was still a boy 
he went up the North Fork and killed five deer in one day. On his way home 
about dark he noticed a pole sticking in the hollow of a tree, and carelessly 
gave this pole a jerk, when he heard a noise in the hole. The moon being 
up, he saw a bear emerge from this tree some distance up. Young Long shot 
and killed it before it reached the earth. In that same fall, William killed 
in one day, on Mill Creek, nine deer, the largest number he ever killed in that 
space of time. At that time he kept nothing but the pelts, and carried them 
home on his back. Panthers often came around Louis Long's home at night, 
screaming and yelling. So one morning, after three had been prowling 
around the house all night, William induced his brother John to join him in 
a hunt for them. There was snow on the ground, and they took three dogs 
with them. The dogs soon found the " tracks." Keeping the dogs back, they 
soon found three deer killed by the brutes, and then they let the dogs go. The 
dogs soon caught these three panthers feasting on a fourth deer and treed 
two of the panthers. John shot one and Billy the other. The third escaped. 
The hunters then camped for the night, dining on deer- and panther-meat 
roasted, and each concluded the panther-meat was the sweetest and the best. 

In the morning they pursued the third panther, treed it, and killed it. 
These were the first panthers the Long boys ever killed. This stimulated 
young William, so he took one of the Vastbinder boys and started out again, 
taking two dogs. They soon found a panther, the dogs attacking it. Young 

IS9 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

Vastbinder fired, but missed. The panther sprang for Long, but the dogs 
caught him by the hams and that saved young Long. The panther broke 
loose from the dogs and ran up on a high root. Long fired and broke the 
brute's back. The dogs then rushed in, but the panther whipped them off. 
Then Long, to save the dogs, ran in and tomahawked the creature. Long 
was now about eighteen years of age. At another time a panther sprang from 
a high tree for Long. Long fired and killed the panther before it reached him, 




Long fires at a panther 

but the animal striking Long on the shoulder the weight felled him to the 
earth. 

In 1815 six brothers of Cornplanter's tribe of Lidians erected wigwams 
in the Beaver Meadows, where Du Bois now stands. 

In 1826 Ludwig Long moved to Ohio, and young Bill went with the 
family. He remained there about twenty months; but finding little game, 
concluded to return to the mountain-hills of Jefferson County, then the para- 
dise of hunters. In 1828, William Long married Mrs. Nancy Bartlett, for- 
merly Miss Nancy Mason, and commenced married life in a log cabin on the 
North Fork, three miles from where Brookville now is, and on what is now 
the Albert Horn farm, formerly the Gaup place. About this time, game being 
plenty, and the scalps, skins, and saddles being hard to carry in. Bill Long in- 
duced a colored man named Charles Southerland to build a cabin near him on 

160 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

what is now known as the Jacob Hoffman farm. Long was to provide for 
Charlie's family. The cabin was built, and Southerland served Long for about 
five years. Charles never carried a gun. I remember both these characters 
well in my childhood, and doctored Long and his wife in my early practice and 
as late as 1862. In 1830, taking Charlie, Long started up the North Fork for 
bears ; it was on Sunday. After Long killed the first bear, he called Charlie 
to come and bring the dogs. When Charlie reached him he yelled out, " Good 
God, massa, hab you seed one?" They continued the hunt that day, and 
before dark had killed seven bears. Charlie had never seen any bears killed 
before, but after this day was crazy to be on a hunt, for, he said, " if dem 
little niggers of mine hab plenty of bear-grease and venison, they will fatten 
well enough." This fall Long killed sixty deer and twenty-five bears, all on 
the North Fork, and the bears were all killed near and around where Rich- 
ardsville now is. This locality was a natural home for wild animals, — 

" With its woodland dale and dell, 
Rippling brooks and hill-side springs.'' 

" A life in the forest deep, 
Where the winds their revels keep; 
Like an eagle in groves of pine, 
Long hunted with his mate." 

The day after Long killed the seven bears, he took Charlie Southerland, 
and travelled over the same ground that he had been over the day before. 
He heard nothing, however, during the day but the sigh of the breeze or 
the speech of the brook until near evening, when, within about a mile of 
home, he saw a large buck coming down the hill. He fired and wounded the 
buck, and then motioned Charlie to come up to him while he was loading. 
Charlie came with a large pine-log on his back. Long asked him what he was 
doing with that log. Southerland replied he wanted it for dry wood. Long 
told him to throw the wood away, and made him carry the buck home for 
food. Long then yoked his two dogs up and told Charlie to lead them, but 
soon discovering bear signs, told Charlie to let the dogs go. The dogs took 
the trail, and found two bears heading for the laurel on the head of the 
North Fork. Long knew the route they would take, and beat them to the 
laurel path. Soon Long heard them coming, the dogs fighting the bears every 
time the bears would cross a log, catching them from behind. The bears 
would then turn around and fight the dogs until they could get over the log. 
When the bears came within about thirty yards of Long, he shot one through 
the head and killed him. At this time Long only took the pelts, which he 
always carried home, the meat being of no account. This same year Long 
took Charlie with him to get some venison by watching a lick, and he took 
Charlie up a tree with him. In a short time a very large bear came into the 
II 161 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

lick. Long shot it while he and Charlie were up the tree. Much to Long's 
amusement, Charlie was so scared that he fell from the tree to the ground, 
landing on his back with his face up. He was, however, unhurt, and able 
to carry home to his cabin the pelt and bear oil. The next morning they saw 
a bear, and Long fired, hitting him in the lungs. This same fall, on the head 
of the North Fork, Long saw something black in the brush, which, on closer 
inspection, proved to be a large she bear. On looking up, he saw three good- 
sized cubs. Long climbed up, and brought the whole three of them down, one 
at a time. He then handed them to Charlie, who tied their legs. Long put 
them in his knapsack and carried them home. 

Knapsacks were made out of bed-ticking or canvas, with shoulder-strap. 
One of these young bears Long sold to Adam George, a butcher in Brookville. 
Even at this late day Long only took the skins and what meat he wanted for 
his own use. This fall Long was not feeling well, and had to keep out of the 
wet. He therefore made Charlie carry him across the streams. He also 
made Charlie carry a wolf-skin for him to sit on at night, when he was watch- 
ing a lick. At another time Charlie and Long went out on a hunt near the 
head of the North Fork. In lonely solitude the dog started a bear, and Long 
could not shoot it for fear of hitting the dog, so he ran up and made a stroke 
at the bear's head with a tomahawk, wounding it but slightly. The bear 
jumped for Long, and the dog came to the rescue of his master by catching 
" the tip of the bear's tail end," and, with the valor and fidelity of a true 
knight, held it firmly, until Long, who had left his gun a short distance, ran 
for it. Charlie thought Long was running from the bear, and took to his 
heels as if the " Old Harry" was after him. Long tried to stop him, but 
Charlie only looked back, and at this moment his foot caught under a root, 
throwing him about thirty feet down a hill. Charlie landed on a rock hard 
enough to have burst a shingle-bolt. Long, seeing this, ran to the bear with 
his gun and shot him. He then hurried down the hill to see what had become 
of Charlie, calling to him. Charlie came out from under a bunch of laurel, 
saying, " God Almighty, Massa Long, I am failed from heben to hell ! Are 
you still living? I tot that ar bar had done gon for you when I seed him 
come for you with his mouth open. Bless de good Lord you still live, or this 
nigger would never git out of dese woods !" That night Charlie and Long 
lay out in the woods. The wolves came up quite close and commenced to 
howl. Long saw there was a chance for a little fun, so he commenced to 
howl like a wolf. Charlie became nervous. " When lo ! he hears on all sides, 
from innumerable tongues, a universal howl, and in his fright" said there 
must be five thousand wolves. Long said he thought there was, and told 
Charlie that, if the wolves came after them, he must climb a tree. In a few 
minutes Long made a jump into the woods, yelling, " The wolves are coming," 
and Charlie bounded like a deer into the woods, too. The night was dark and 
dreary; but deep in the forest Charlie made out to find and climb a majestic 

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HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

oak. Long, therefore, had to look CharHe up, and when he got near to our 
colored brother, he heard him soliloquizing thus : " Charles, you have to stick 
tight, for if this holt breaks you are a gone nigger." Long then stepped up 
to the tree and told Charlie the danger was over ; but coming down the tree 
was harder than going up, for Charlie fell to the earth like a thunder-bolt and 
doubled up like a jack-knife. 

BILL LONG AND HIS ATTENDANT, " BLACK CHARLIe" 

In 1833, on his way home one day. Long saw a bear at the foot of a large 
tree. He came up close and tried to get a shot at its head, but the bear kept 
moving about so that he dared not fire. After trying for some time, he knew 




757' 

Common brown bear 

from the action of the bear that there were young ones near, so he bawled like 
a cub, when the old bear came on the run for him, with her mouth open. Long 
waited until she came up close, when he rammed the muzzle of the gun in 
her open mouth and pulled the trigger of the gun with the thumb of his left 
hand, the load knocking her teeth out and breaking her jaw. She then went 
back to the tree and commenced walking around in a circle. As soon as Long 
reloaded the gun he bawled again, and the bear this time came within sixteen 
feet of him and sat up straight, wiping her mouth with her paws. He then 
took aim at the stalking place and killed her. Going to the tree she had been 

163 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

walking around and looking up, he saw two cubs. At the sight of Long these 
cubs commenced to crawl down; one dropped to the ground and ran ott. 
Long fired at the other, breaking its back. This cub then fell to the ground, 
and Long tomahawked it. Knowing the other cub would not go far away, 
he reloaded the gun, and espied the cub under a log close by. Takmg aim 
at its head he fired, and the cub fell dead. A bear weighing four hundred 
pounds would render fifteen gallons of oil. 

This same year, on the head of the North Fork, " where ripplmg waters 
still flow," Long espied a cub bear on a tree-top. He told his attendant, 
" Black Charlie," that there was an old bear near, or soon would be, and if 




Bear and cubs 



the old one did not soon come back he wanted Charlie to make the cub bawl. 
After waiting for some time for the old bear to come, Long impatiently climbed 
the tree, caught, the cub and gave it to Charlie, telling him to take it by the 
hind legs and hold it up and shake it, which would make it bawl. After some 
time the cub was made to bawl. The bear, hearing this, came running with 
her mouth open. Charlie threw the cub to its mother, but the bear ran by the 
cub and stopped, looking first at Long and then at the cub. Long fired at 
her, hitting her in the breast. She then turned and ran toward the cub. After 
loading again he shot her through the lungs, when she started and ran some 

164 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

distance, and then came back to the cub, which sat still. After firing the 
second shot Long heard Charlie yell, " What tidings?" Long answered him, 
" Good." Charlie started for the rear, saying, Long " didn't get dat nigger 
back dar again till dat brute am killed." As she came up Long shot her in 
the head, killing her. He then got the cub and took it home alive. 

At one time Long took thirteen wolf scalps and five panther scalps to 
Indiana for the bounty. 

Once in this same year, when Long was up on the North Fork, he shot 
a deer, and it fell apparently dead; but when he went to cut its throat it 
jumped to its feet and made for him, and threw him on the ground, with a 
horn on each side of his breast. The stone and gravel stopped the horns from 
going into the ground to any great depth. Long then called for Charlie and 
the dogs, but they were slow in coming to his aid. Before Charlie got to him 
Long had let go of a horn with one hand and had secured his knife, and made 
a stroke at the neck of the deer, plunging the knife in the throat, and again 
dexterously clinched the loose horn. The blood came down on him until he 
was covered and perfectly wet. When the deer commenced to rise Long still 
held on to both horns until the deer raised him to his feet. The deer then 
gave a spring, and fell dead. By this time Charlie and the dogs came up, and 
the negro was crying. Long was angry, and said to Charlie, " You black 

son of a b , where have you been ?" " Oh, massa, am you killed ?" " No, 

damn you ; where have you been?" " Oh, just came as soon as I could. Will 
I let the dogs go?" Long said, " No, the deer is dead." 

Charlie's domestic life was not all peace, as the following newspaper 
advertisement will explain : 

" CAUTION 

" Whereas my wife Susey did on the 26th day of March last leave my 
bed and board, and took with her two of my sons and some property, having 
no other provocation than ' that I would not consent to my son marrying a 
white girl, and bring her home to live with us.' Therefore I hereby caution 
all persons against harboring or trusting her on my account, as I will pay no 
debts of her contracting. 

" If she will come home I promise to do all in my power to make her 
comfortable, and give her an equal share of all my property. 

" Charles Southerland. 

" April 7, 1847." 

In a copy of the Jeffersonian printed in 1852, I find the following: 
" In this day's paper we record the death of Charles Sutherland (colored), 
who was one of the oldest inhabitants of this county. Sutherland had arrived 
at the advanced age of nearly one hundred years. He came to what is now 
Jefiferson County upward of forty years ago, when the ground upon which 
Brookville now stands was but a howling wilderness. Many there are in this 

i6s 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

borough who will miss the familiar and friendly visits of ' old Charley,' who, 
with hat in hand, and his venerable head uncovered, asked alms at their hands. 
No more will they hear from him a description of the ' Father of his Coun- 
try ' when he, Charley, held his horse at the laying of the corner-stone of the 
Capitol at Washington City. His breath is hushed, his lips are sealed, and 
his body is wrapped in the cold habiliments of the grave. Requiescat in pace." 

When this wilderness commenced to settle up. Long visited Broken Straw 
Creek, in Warren County, on the head of the Allegheny River, to see a noted 
hunter by the name of Cotton, and to learn from him his method of hunting 
young wolves. He learned much from this man Cotton, and afterwards 
secured many young wolves by the instruction given him by Cotton. In the 
winter of 1835 Mike and Bill Long went to Boone's Mountain to hunt. This 
mountain was a barren region in those days, that always looked in winter-time 

like 

" Rivers of ice and a sea of snow, 
A wilderness frigid and white." 

During the season Bill killed one hundred and five deer and Mike one 
hundred and four, and together they killed four bears. At this time there 
was some local demand in Brookville and other towns for venison, and in this 
year the Longs sent loads of venison to Harrisburg, making a trip to the 
capital in seven or eight days. In 1839, Long moved into Clearfield County, 
and his history in Jefferson County was closed. 

Number of animals killed by Long in his life-time : bears, 400; deer (in 
1835 one white one), 3500; panthers, 50; wolves, 2000; elks, 125; foxes, 
400; wild-cats, 200; catamounts, 500; otters, 75. 

In 1824 Bill Long had a thrilling adventure with a huge panther in what 
is now Warsaw Township. He, in a hand-to-hand encounter, killed the animal 
near where Bootjack, Jefferson County, now stands. 

Long used to catch fawns, mark their ears, turn them loose, and kill them 
when full-grown deer. Elks were easily domesticated, and sold as follows, — 
viz. : for a living male elk one year old, $50 ; two years old, $75 ; three 
years old, $100; and for a fawn three months old, $25. In 1835 Long had 
five wolf-dens that he visited annually for pups, about the 1st of May. 

In 1834 Bill Long, his brother Mike, and Ami Sibley started on a hunt 
for elk near where Portland now is. At the mouth of Bear Creek these three 
hunters came across a drove of about forty elks. Bill Long fired into the 
berd and broke the leg of one. This wounded elk began to squeal, and then 
the herd commenced to run in a circle around the injured one. Sibley's gun 
had the wiping-stick fastened in it, and he could not use it. Bill and Mike 
then loaded and fired into the drove as rapidly as they could, the elks con- 
tinuing to make the circle, until each had fired about twenty-five shots, when 
the drove became frightened and ran away. On examination, the hunters 

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HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

found eight large elks killed. They then made a raft, ran the load down to 
where Raught's mill is now, and hauled the meat, pelts, and horns to Brook- 
ville. Portland and Bear Creek are now in Elk County. 

In 1836 Bill Long took Henry Dull and started on a hunt for a young 
elk. On the third day Long saw a doe elk and fawn. He shot the mother, 
and his dog caught the fawn and held it without hurting it. Long removed 
the udder from the mother, carrying it with the " teats'' uppermost, and giving 
the fawn milk from it until they reached Ridgway, where a jug of milk was 
secured, and by means of an artificial " teat" the fawn was nourished until 
Long reached his North Fork home. Dull led the little creature by a rope 
around its neck. Mrs. Long raised this elk with her cows, feeding it every 
milking-time, and when the fawn grew to be some size he would drive the 
cows home every evening for his supper of milk. When this elk was full 
grown. Long and Dull led him to Buffalo, New York, wa the pike westward 
to the Allegheny River, and up through Warren, and sold the animal for two 
hundred dollars, — one hundred dollars in cash and a note for the other 
hundred, that was never paid. 

In the fall of 1836 Long took Henry Dull with him to hunt wolves. The 
second evening Long found an old wolf with six half-grown pups. He shot 
two and the rest ran away. Long and Dull then climbed a hemlock, and Long 
began his wolf howl. On hearing the howl, two pups and the old wolf came 
back. Long then shot the mother, and afterwards got all the pups. Dull 
became so frightened that he fell head first, gun and all, through the brush, 
striking the ground with his head, producing unconsciousness and breaking 
his shoulder. " Thanks to the human heart, by which we live," for Long 
nursed Dull at his home on the North Fork for three months. Scalps then 
brought twelve dollars apiece. In that same year Fred. Hetrick and Bill .killed 
an elk at the mouth of Little Toby which weighed six hundred pounds. 

In the winter of 1834 William Dixon, Mike and Bill Long, with dogs, 
went out to " rope" or catch a live elk. They soon started a drove on the 
North Fork, and the dogs chased the drove over to the Little Toby, a short 
distance up from the mouth. The dogs separated one buck from the drove, 
and this elk, to protect himself from the dogs, took refuge on a ledge of rocks. 
Bill Long, while Mike and Dixon and the dogs attracted the attention of the 
elk from below, scrambled in some way to the top of the rocks and threw a 
rope over the elk's horns, and then cabled the elk to a small tree. This in- 
furiated the elk, so that he jumped out over the rocks and fell on his side. 
Mike and Dixon now had the first rope. Bill Long then rushed on the fallen 
elk and threw another rope in a slip-noose around the elk's neck, and fast- 
ened this rope as a guy to a tree. Each rope was then fastened in an oppo- 
site direction to a tree, and after the buck was choked into submission,^ his 
feet were tied, and the elk was dragged by these three men on the creek 
ice to where Brockwayville now is. Here they secured a yoke of oxen and 

167 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

sled from Ami Sibley, a mighty hunter. A small tree was then cut, the main 
stem being left about five feet long and the two forks about three feet in 
length. Each prong of the tree was fastened to a horn of the buck, and the 
main stem permitted to hang down in front over the buck's nose, to which it 
was fastened with a rope. A rope was then tied around the neck and antlers, 
and the loose end tied around the hind bench of the sled ; this drove the elk 
close up to the hind part of the sled. The ropes around the feet of the elk 
were then cut, and the buck lit on his feet. After the animal had made many 
desperate efforts and plunges, he quieted down, and no trouble was expe- 
rienced until within a few miles of Brookville, when, meeting an acquaint- 
ance, Dixon became so much excited over the success in capturing a live elk, 
that he ran up and hit the elk on the back, exclaiming, " See, we have done it !" 
and this so scared the elk that he made a desperate jump, upsetting the sled 
into a ditch over a log. The oxen then took fright, and in the general melee 
the elk had a shoulder knocked out of place and the capture was a failure. 

There grew in abundance in those days a tree called moose or leather- 
wood. The pioneers used the bark for ropes, which were very strong. 

ELK AND VENISON JERK 

This was " venison flesh cut off in a sheet or web about half an inch 
thick and spread on the tops of pegs driven into the ground, whilst under- 
neath a fire was kindled, fed with chips of sassafras and other odorous woods, 
that gradually dried it." The web would be removed and replaced until the 
jerk was thoroughly dried. The old hunter used to carry a little jerk always 
with him to eat with his bread. This jerk was a delicious morsel. Bill Long 
gave me many a " cut." I think I can taste it now. Mike and Bill Long 
would bring it to Brookville and retail it to the people at five cents a cut. 

AN INCIDENT ON THE PIKE 

In the spring of 1820, when the pike was being constructed, there was an 
early settler by the name of George Eckler living near Port Barnett. This 
man Eckler liked a spree, and the Irish that worked on the pike were not 
averse to " a wee drop at ony time." A jug or two of Long's " Mountain 
Dew" whiskey, fresh from the still, was secured, and a jolly " Donnybrook 
Fair'' time was had one night in the woods. Eckler came in for the worst of 
it, for his eyes were blackened and he was battered up generally. On sober 
reflection he concluded to swear out a warrant before Thomas Lucas, Esq., 
for the " Paddies of the pike." The warrant was placed in the hands of the 
constable, John Dixon, Sr. There were about twenty-five in this gang of 
Paddies, and Constable Dixon summoned a posse of eight to assist in the 
arrest. This posse consisted of the young Dixons, Longs, and McCulloughs, 
and when this solid column of foresters reached the Irish on the pike, one of 
the Paddies told the constable to " go home and attend to his own business." 

168 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

He then commanded the pike battahon to remove the handles from their picks 
and charge on the posse. This they did, to the complete rout of the natives, 
chasing them all in confusion like a herd of deer through and across Mill 
Creek. Young Bill Long was with this posse, and he ran home, too, but only 
to arm himself, not with a shillelah, but with his flint-lock, tomahawk, and 
knife. Thus armed and single-handed he renewed the conflict, keeping in the 
woods and above the Irish, and sending balls so close to their heads that the 
whiz could be heard, until he drove the whole pack, with their carts, etc., from 
above Port Barnett to where Btookville now stands. 

In the forties, when Long lived above Falls Creek, he went through 
wastes of snow and icicled trees to find a buck that he had wounded, and took 
his son Jack, who was but a boy, along with him. On their way the dog 
scented some animal that was no deer, and Long told him to go. The dog 
soon treed a panther, and when the two hunters came to him they found two 
more panthers on the ground. The dog seized one of the animals, and Jack 
stopped to shoot the one on the tree, which, after he had shot twice, fell dead. 
At the same time Long threw his gun down in the snow, as he could not 
shoot for fear of killing the dog which had seized the panther. Long then 
ran to the dog's assistance and tomahawked the panther. Jack then came up 
to his father and said, pointing, " There is the other one looking at us." The 
dogs were urged on and both took hold of this panther; Jack ran in and 
caught the panther by the hind legs, the dogs having him in front. Jack was 
anxious to take this animal home alive and wanted him roped. Long got a 
rope from his knap-sack and tied it around the hind legs. Making a noose, 
he put it over the panther's head and tied the rope to a sapling, and Jack 
pulled back on the other rope, thus stretching the panther full length. The 
front feet were tied without any danger and the panther was soon secured, 
but when they had him tied and ready to move home, they discovered he was 
bleeding at the throat. On looking closely, they discovered the dogs had cut 
the jugular vein, and before they had the other two animals skinned, the third 
one was dead. 

On Bill Long's first trip over to Chess Creek, he took Colonel Smiley with 
him. Nearly everybody in those militia days was either a colonel, a major, 
or a captain. Under this system Pennsylvania had one year forty-eight gen- 
erals. Colonel Smiley then lived between the town of Du Bois and where 
Luthersburg now is. They went on this outing for young wolves. On ar- 
riving near the head of Chess Creek, they found a very rocky ridge, when it 
was nearly dark. Long told Smiley they had better lay by for the night, as 
he thought there must be wolves near there. Smiley wanted to know where 
they would sleep. " There, upon that," said Long, pointing to a flat rock. 
Smiley then picked up a pheasant feather, remarking that he was going to 
have a downy pillow any way. Long, as usual, made a bed of hemlock boughs, 
and the two slept upon this bed on the rock. Smiley took his feather and there 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

in this deep forest, with nought but the sky above their heads and the shadowy 
clouds that passed, wrapped in the arms of Morpheus, they slept until about 
the hour of one, when in the deep stillness of night they were awakened by 
what proved to be the bark of a dog wolf. Long told Smiley to listen to see 
if there would be an answer to this bark. Soon they heard an answer in a 
howl. Long then told the colonel to arise and set the compass for the direc- 
tion of this howl, for this was a slut, and by this means they could see if the 
howl was repeated in the morning at the same place. About dayUght the dog 
wolf commenced to bark again, and was answered by the slut with a howl. 
Long said, '" Set the compass now." This the colonel did, with the remark, 
" She is at the same place." " Now," said Long, " let us follow the direction," 
and the colonel, keeping the compass before him, they came, after about three- 
quarters of an hour, to where a big tree had been blown out of root. There 
was that she-wolf near to it. On coming up they found nine pups, and while 
they were getting the pups the old wolf came at them with her mouth wide 
open. Smiley drew his gun to shoot, but Long told him not to shoot, for that 
wolf was more to him than a horse, as he wanted to get her pups next year. 
Long then killed seven of the pups and took two of them to Oldtown, now 
Clearfield, where he sold the two live ones and got the bounty for the seven 
he had killed. Long got the pups of this wolf for three years afterwards, 
always near the same place. Shortly after this Long took his little boy Jack 
and started up Spring Creek on the Clarion River to the big elk lick there. 
He stayed at the big lick, and put Jack at a deer lick a short distance further 
up the creek. Long soon heard elk coming into his lick, when he fired and 
killed one. Jack, hearing his father's shot, came down to him the next morn- 
ing. Long left the boy to skin this elk and started for Ridgway to get a drink 
and some provisions. On his way up to the town he killed five deer. When 
he returned Jack had finished skinning the elk, which Long then " jerked," 
took to Brookville, and sold in cuts. 

Our elk was what scientists called wapiti. Other common names were 
red deer, stag, gray moose, or gray elk. They usually lived in families. Their 
horns were round, with twelve or more regular prongs. A perfectly devel- 
oped set would weigh twenty or thirty pounds. They calved regularly in 
May. 

Mike and Bill, with their dogs, started for the waters of North Fork, 
taking a bottle of whiskey with them. When near the head of this stream, the 
dogs took the scent of wolves and followed them under a large rock. Bill 
crawled under this rock and took from it eight young wolves. These scalps 
brought sixty-four dollars. Long went another time and took his son Jack, 
who was quite small, with him, also his dog, which he called Trim. I remem- 
ber this dog well. He was most thoroughly trained, and I have seen Long- on 
a drunken jamboree in John Smith's bar-room, in Brookville, command this 
dog Trim to smell for wolves, when the dog would actively and carefully 

170 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

scent every part of the room. In man the most developed sense is touch, in 
birds sight, and in dogs smell. While on this trip Long crossed over to the 
waters of Little Toby, and at a certain point he knew from the actions of 
Trim that there was game somewhere near. Looking in the same direction 
as the dog, he saw a big bear on a tree and two large wolves at the foot 
watching the bear. Long told Jack to hold Trim and he would crawl up and 
shoot the bear. As he got within shooting distance of the bear. Trim broke 
loose from Jack and the bear seeing the dog, came down the tree and ran off. 
The dog then took after the wolves. The slut wolf ran under a rock and the 
dog wolf ran in a different direction. Long and Trim pursued the dog wolf, 
and in a short time Trim came back yelping with the wolf at his heels. Trim 
had about one inch of white at the end of his tail which the wolf had bitten off. 
The wolf paid no attention to Long, but went straight on. At shooting dis- 
tance Long shot him through the head. The two, father and son, then went 
to the rocks, and Bill crawled under, finding there seven young wolves, — six 
he caught, but the seventh he could not find though he could hear it bark. 
Long came out and gave his gun to Jack and told him that he vv^ould howl 
like a wolf and the pup would come out, and then for Jack to shoot it. The 
pup hearing Long howl, and thinking that he was its mother, came out, and 
Jack shot it. The seven pups and the old male made eight wolves at this 
time. Bill Long took the pups of that slut every spring for five years, find- 
ing them some place between the mouth of Little Toby and Brandycamp. 
When out on the ridge near where Bootjack, Elk County, now is. Long saw 
signs of a panther. He had two dogs with him, and soon came on the 
panther. The dogs were barking at the animal as it sat up on a rock. 
Long fired at the panther and wounded it. The dogs then rushed upon the 
panther, but soon let go, though not before one of them was badly crippled. 
Long at that time had a double-barrelled rifle. He then ran upon the panther, 
and, putting the muzzle of the gun to its head, killed it on the spot. In this 
adventure he had not only the skin of the panther to carry home, but the 
crippled dog also, which was too badly wounded to walk. 

About the year 1845 Bill Long and two of Kahle's boys, John and Jacob, 
caught eight young wolves in a den. This den was on Mill Creek, that 
empties into the Clarion about three or four miles from where Siegel now is. 
John Kahle, on going in the ninth time, as he had done eight times before, 
armed with a torch, a stick four or five feet long with a hook on it to fasten 
into the wolves, and a rope tied to his foot, to pull him out by, caught the old 
one. Long and the Kahles thought she was not in. When young Kahle saw 
the wolf he pulled the rope and Long pulled Kahle out, but Kahle was not 
able to bring the wolf with him. When he told his story. Long tried to hire 
him for ten dollars to go in again, but Kahle would not. Long then tried to 
hire his brother, and he would not go in. Then Long whetted his knife, fixed 
his gun, and started in, but the way being too narrow for him, he came back 

171 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

before getting out of sight. After the fourth trial by Long, he came out and 
said he had seen the wolf, but could not shoot her. 

As I remember Long, he was about five feet and four inches high, chubby, 
strongly built, active, athletic, and a great dancer, — danced what he called the 
" chippers" and the " crack," — was cheerful, lively, and good-natured. He 
carried a heavy single-barrelled, muzzle-loading rifle. His belief was that he 
could shoot better with a heavy rifle than with a light one. Although there 
were dozens of professional hunters in this wilderness, this man was the king. 
He had an enduring frame, a catlike step, a steady nerve, keen eyesight, and 
a ripe knowledge of all the laws governing " still hunts for deer and bears.'' 
To reach the great skill he attained in mature life required natural talents, 
perseverance, sagacity, and habits of thought, as well as complete self-poise, 
self-control, and quickness of execution. 

In these woods Long had great opportunities for perfecting himself in all 
that pertained to proficiency in a great hunter. Of the other hunters that 
approached him, I only recall his brothers, the Knapps, the three Vastbinders, 
the Lucases, the Bells, the Nolfs, Sibley, Fred. Hetrick, Indian Russell, and 
George Smith. 

The professional hunter was created by the law of 1705 under the 
dynasty of William Penn. The law reads as follows : 

" AN ACT FOR THE KILLING OF WOLVES FOR PREVENTING THE DESTRUCTION OF 

SHEEP AND CATTLE BY WOLVES 

" Section i. Be it enacted by John Evans, Esquire, by the Queen's 
royal approbation Lieutenant-Governor under William Penn, Esquire, ab- 
solute Proprietary and Governor-in-Chief of the Province of Pennsylvania 
and Territories, by and with the advice and consent of the freemen of the said 
Province in General Assembly met, and by the authority of the same, That 
if any person within this province shall kill a dog-wolf, he shall have ten 
shillings, and if a bitch-wolf, fifteen shillings, to be paid out of the county 
stock. Provided such person brings the wolf's head to one of the justices of 
the peace of that county, who is to cause the ears and tongue of the said wolf 
to be cut off. And that the Indians, as well as others, shall be paid for 
killing wolves accordingly. 

" Section 2. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid. That 
all and every person or persons who are willing to make it their business to 
kill wolves, and shall enter into recognizance before two or more justices of 
the peace of the respective counties where he or they dwell, with sufficient 
security in the sum of five pounds, that he or they shall and will make it his 
or their sole business, at least three days in every week, to catch wolves, shall 
have twenty-five shillings for every wolf, dog or bitch, that he or they shall 
so catch and kill within the time mentioned in the said recognizance, to be 
paid out of the county levies where the wolves are taken as aforesaid." 

172 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

This act was repealed by the acts of 1782 and 1819. 

Long's early dress was a coon-skin cap, moccasin shoes, a hunting-shirt, 
and generally buckskin breeches. The hunting-shirt was worn by all these 
early hunters, and sometimes in militia drill. It was a kind of frock, reached 
down to the thighs, had large sleeves, was open before, and lapped over a foot 
or so when belted. This shirt was made of linsey, coarse Hnen, or of dressed 
buckskin. The deer-skin shirt was cold and uncomfortable in wet and cold 
rains. The bosom of the shirt served as a receptacle for rye bread, wheat 
cakes, tow for cleaning the rifle, jerk, punk, flint and knocker to strike fire 
with, etc. Matches were first made in 1829, but were not used here for many 
years after that. The belt was tied behind ; it usually held the mittens, bullet- 
bag, tomahawk, and scalping-knife in its long buckskin sheath. The moccasin 
in cold weather was sometimes stuffed with feathers, wool, and dry leaves. 
The heavy early rifles carried about forty-five bullets to a pound of lead. 

The hand-to-hand conflicts of this noted hunter with panthers, bears, cata- 
mounts, wolves, elks, and bucks, both on the land and in the streams, if written 
out in full, would make a large volume. Elk and deer frequently took to 
the creeks, and a battle royal with knife and horns would have to be fought 
in the water. Long was several times mistaken while in a thicket for a wild 
animal, and careless hunters shot at him. Once his cheek was rubbed with a 
ball. Dozens of Indians and pale-faced men hunted in this wilderness as well 
as he, and the table giving an exhibit of the aggregate number of animals killed 
by Long during his life as a hunter only goes to show what a great zoological 
garden of wild animals this wilderness must have been. 

William Long died in Hickory Kingdom, Clearfield County, Pennsylva- 
nia, in May, 1880, and was buried in the Conway Cemetery, leaving two sons, 
— Jack, a mighty hunter, and a younger son, William. 

Peace to his ashes. In the haunts of this wilderness, scorched by the 
summer sun, pinched by the winds of winter wailing their voices like woe, 
separated for weeks at a time in his lonely cabins from the society of men 
and women, and then, too, awakened in the dark and dreary nights by 
the howl of the wolf, the panther's scream, and the owl's to-hoo! to-hoo! 
Long steadily, year in and year out, for sixty years pursued this wild, 
romantic life. 

THE HABITS OF SOME OF THE GAME LONG HUNTED 

Our bears cubbed in February, had two cubs at a birth, and these cubs 
were about the size of a brown rat, without hair, and blind for nine days. 
They were suckled by the mother for about three months, when they reached 
the size of a cat ; then the mother took them out and taught them to eat nuts, 
berries, bugs, little animals, green corn, vegetables, hogs, sheep, and sometimes 
cattle. A full-grown bear would weigh four hundred pounds. He was ex- 
ceedingly strong. He could carry a heavy burden and walk on his hind legs 

173 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

for a long distance. He was a good tree-climber and was not quarrelsome, 
but if other animals trespassed on his rights he became furious and vindictive. 

He frequently gnawed himself out of hunters' pens, was a bold, intelli- 
gent beast, and his meat was considered a delicacy by the hunters. 

Bears lived in " homes," holes, or dens, and sometimes in a rocky place 
there would be a " community." They, like deer, follow their own paths. 
He entered his den about Christmas time to hibernate, and remained there 




A female panther (Pennsylvania) two yrars old, not full ■'ic 



until about the ist of May, when he would come out, eat weeds and grass to 
purge himself, after which he would eat anything. 

Our panther was fully as strong as the bear, but was rather cowardly, 
and especially fearful of dogs. A single blow from one forefoot or a bite 
from a panther would kill a dog. As a precaution, the panther hunter always 
had a trained dog with him, for a single bark from a dog would often scare 
a panther up a tree. The panther, as a rule, sought and sprang upon his 

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HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

victim in the dark. He could throw a buck, hog, or cow without a strug- 
gle. A panther attained sometimes a length of ten feet from nose to end of 
tail. They Hved in dens and had tvvo cubs at a time. 

Rowe, of Clearfield, says of the hunter Dan Turner, " Once, when going 
out to a ' bear wallow,' his attention was attracted by a panther acting in a 
strange manner. He soon saw a large bear approaching it. With hair 6rect 
and eyes glaring, the panther gnashed his teeth, and, waiting imtil bruin came 
up, sprang upon him. A mortal struggle ensued. Turner watched with much 
interest the fight, which' lasted some ten minutes or more. At last the growls 
of the firece combatants became faint, and the struggle ceased. The panther 
slowly disengaged himself from his dead enemy and took position upon the 
carcass. It was now Turner's time, and, raising his rifle, he shot the panther 
in the head. After examining it, he was of the opinion that it could have 
lived but a very few minutes longer. Nearly every bone in its body was 
broken, and its flesh was almost reduced to a pulp by the blows and hugs of 
the bear." 

Our wolves always had their dens in the wildest, most hidden part of the 
wilderness. They always managed to get under the rocks or ground to shelter 
themselves and young from all storms. The male fed the female when the 
" pups'' were small. He would travel a great distance in search of food, and 
if what he found was too heavy to carry home, he would gorge himself with it 
and go home and vomit it up for the family. The wolf and fox were very 
chary and hard to trap. But Long and other hunters knew their habits so 
well that they could always outwit them. 

A wolf could carry a sheep for miles in this way : seize it by the throat 
and throw it over or on his back. Wolves hunted the deer in packs ; they all 
hunted together until a deer was started. The pack would keep up the chase 
until they were tired ; then one wolf would keep up the chase at full speed, 
while the balance of the pack watched, and when the deer turned a circle, fresh 
and rested wolves struck in and pursued; thus the deer was pursued alter- 
nately by fresh wolves and soon tired out, and would then fly to some stream ; 
the wolves would follow, and while the deer would remain in the stream 
the wolves.would separate, a part of the pack forming in line on each side 
of the stream, when the deer would become an easy prey to these ravenous 
creatures. 

The most dangerous animal or reptile was the rattlesnake. We had 
two colors, — the black and yellow spotted. Millions of them inhabited these 
woods, and some were four and five feet long. Snakes, as well as other wild 
animals, travel and seek their food in the night. To escape this danger, each 
pioneer kept a large herd of hogs, who would kill and eat snakes with im- 
punity. Dogs, too, were faithful in this direction. But how did the woods- 
man and hunter escape? Well, he wore woollen stockings, moccasins with 
anklets, and buckskin breeches. A snake could not bite through these, and 

12 177 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

at night he usually laid his head on the body of his dog to protect his upper 
extremities. 

It was seldom that the eljc or deer had twins. The bear, panther, and 
wolf always had a litter. Wolves reared in the same pack lived friendly, but 
strange males always fought. 

The deer, when frightened, circled round and round, but never left his 
haunt. The elk would start on a trot, and never stop under ten or fifteen 
miles. 

The bear was and is a wanderer, — here to-day and away to-morrow. 
The wolf and panther were fierce and shy. Deer killed the rattler in this 
way : humping themselves together, and jumping sideways on the snake with 
all four feet, the hoofs of the deer would cut the snake in pieces. Elk travel 
in families or herds ; the does lead and the bucks bring up the rear. They 
browse in winter and paw the snow for moss or wild grass. 

" When it is remembered that the American elk ofttimes attains a weight 
of one thousand pounds, a height of sixteen hands, and has spiked antlers of 
five feet in length and four feet spread, some idea of the offensive capacities 
of one of these rearing, prancing, snorting creatures may be conceived. 

" It must also be remembered that an elk fights with his sharply pointed 
front hoofs, as well as with his antlers, rearing on his hind legs and deliver- 
ing swift, terrific lunges right out from the shoulder. 

" The bucks become dangerous each fall, at mating time, and in the 
spring, before their horns drop off; for all male deer shed their horns each 
spring. By September the prongs are replaced. Each year the male elk 
grows an extra prong upon his antlers. The expert may ascertain the age 
of the creature by counting the prongs. However, if the antler should be 
broken off during a fight, or through any accident, the broken side grows out 
next season as a straight horn, without the usual prongs. 

" During their seasons of anger the bucks will attack any living thing." 

LAST PANTHERS AND WOLVES IN NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

The last bounty paid for wolves and panthers in Elk County as shown 
by the books and vouchers on file in the office of the county commissioners, 

Wolves. — J. R. Green, November 8, 1871, one; James Bennett, Jr., Oc- 
tober 28, 1873, one; A. J. Rummer, December 13, 1874, one; J. R. Green, 
October, 1874, one; John Myers, December 14, 1874, one; George Smith, 
April 8, 1874, two; Charles A. Brown, December 28, 1874, one; O. B. Fitch, 
December, 1877, one; and this was the last wolf killed in Elk County. The 
last wolf reported killed in Forest County was by Emanuel Dobson, Jenks 
Township, in 1884. The last wolf killed in McKean County was by J. W. 
Starks, June 24, 1868. A wolf is reported killed in 1886. The records show 
that a wolf was killed in Potter County in 1890. A wolf is reported killed in 
Tioga County by Levi Kissinger in 1885. 

178 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

Panthers.— Alexander WykofT, February i8, 1850, one; Thomas Dent, 
May 20, 1850, one; Peter Smith, January 5, 1852, one; E. G. Deering, 
February 18, 1852, one; Peter Smith, March 7, 1853, six; Nelson Gardner, 
June 29, 1857, one. These were all killed in Elk County. Nelson Gardner, 
who lived above Ridgway, killed the last panther in Elk County. 

During the thirties, when Jefferson County still embraced what is now 
Forest and Elk Counties, the bounties paid for panther, wolf, fox, and wild- 
cat scalps fell a little short of four hundred dollars a year. The last bounties 
paid for panthers and wolves killed in Jefferson County was in 1856. The 
record is as follows : March 18, 1856, Jacob Stahlman, one wolf ; March 24, 
1856, Mike Long, five wolves ; May 17, 1856, Andrew Bowers, Gaskill Town- 
ship, one wolf; November 19, 1856, Adam Hetrick, one panther, killed on 
Maxwell Run, in Polk Township. George Smith had chased this panther 
across the line of Elk into Jefferson County. The panther was an old and 
very large one. Fred. Hetrick, a great hunter, lived then at or near Green- 
briar, and this panther commenced to kill and feast on his sheep. The panther 
made the mistake of his life. Fred, knew at once what was killing his sheep, 
so he organized a hunting expedition against Mr. Panther, of himself, his son 
Adam, and four dogs. The dogs soon treed the panther. Fred, shot him 
while on a limb, in the neck. The panther then sprang from the tree at the 
dogs, killing one and badly injuring the second. He would soon have killed 
all four, but Adam gave him a second shot from the rifle, and this shot killed 
the last panther in Jefferson County. 

It is reported that two panthers were killed on the Driftwood in what 
is now Cameron County by Isaac Rammage in 1851. The last panther in 
what is now Forest County was killed at Panther Rocks in 1848. A panther 
was killed in McKean County by William Eastman and George Smith about 
1858 or 1859. The last panther killed in Warren County was in Corydon 
Township, by Sylvester C. Williams, December 18, 1863, and the last wolf 
killed in Warren County was by James Irwin in Mead Township, March 17, 
1866. The last panther killed in Tioga County was in 1841. 

" JACK long" 

Andrew Jackson Long, a son of William and Nancy Barlett Long, nee 
Mason, was born in Jefferson County, Pennsylvania, in 1829, on what is 
known and now called the Horn farm. He moved with his father to the 
neighborhood of Falls Creek, in Clearfield County, when he was about twelve 
years old. I knew him from my boyhood, and visited with him in his home for 
two days in 1899, when he gave me the following facts in regard to his hunting 
career : 

" I have killed six deer in a day, often four or five in a day. I have 
killed four panthers in a day, and twenty during my life. The last panther 
I killed was in 1872. It was the largest one, and measured eleven feet from 

179 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

tip of nose to end of tail. I have killed about three hundred and fifty bears. 
In 1898 I killed nine bears. I have killed about fifteen hundred deer. I 
have killed about one hundred and fifty wfolves. The last wolves — two in 
number — I killed in 1881. I have killed foxes, wild-cats, catamounts, etc., 
without number. I caught in traps twenty otter and one black fox. 

" When hungry, wolves and bears will eat one another. A bear will 
fight for its cubs even to death ; a panther will not. Wolves make some fight 
for their young but not a close one. A large bear will kill a panther in a 
fight. Bears have wallows, and have paths for miles to and from their dens. 
These paths are usually blazed on hemlock-trees. Each bear, big or little, 
travelling the same path, will bite the blazed trees. Wolves have their paths 
too. Wolves will kill a deer for their young, cut it up, and bury it along 
their paths. Panthers usually have from two to three cubs in September of 
each year. A panther will eat only fresh meat. 

" I have tamed panthers until they were about two years old, when they 
became vicious and had to be killed. I have tamed wolves and used them for 
the same purposes as a dog. They would follow me as dogs, and hunted with 
me, but at the age of two years I generally had to kill them. For bear-traps, 
I used venison, groundhog, and beef, for bait. A bear will patiently dig a 
whole day for a groundhog. I have found many deer horns in the woods, 
that were locked by combat, each deer having died from this fight. In 
1853 my father and I killed five grown panthers on Medix Run. In March 
of the same year Peter Smith and Erasmus Morey killed six full-grown 
panthers in the same neighborhood, making eleven in all.", 

Andrew Jackson Long died at his home, about two miles from Du Bois, 
June 18, 1900. 





CHAPTER VIII 



THE OLD STAfE ROAD EARLY ROADS AND TRAILS — WHY THE STATE ROAD WAS 

MADE THE FIRST ATTEMPT TO OPEN THE ROAD LAWS, ETC., TOUCHING 

THE SUBJECT THE SURVEY THE ROAD COMPLETED THE ACT OF THE 

LEGISLATURE WHICH SANCTIONED THE BUILDING OF THE ROAD 

In 1791 and 1793 a State road through this wilderness to what is now 
called Waterford was incepted, agitated, and legalized; but, owing to the 
Indian troubles of 1791, '92, '93, and '94, all efforts had to be stopped and 
all legal proceedings annulled and repealed. The Indian troubles were 
settled in 1794 by war and purchases, and then legal steps were again taken 
to open up this great northwest in 1795 and 1796. The reader will please 
bear in mind that Le Bceuf is now Waterford, Pennsylvania, Presque Isle 
is now Erie City, Pennsylvania, and Bald Eagle's Nest is now Milesburg, 
Centre County, Pennsylvania. 

EARLY ROADS AND TRAILS 

In 1784-85 the old State Road from the east was opened through to 
Fort Pitt in the west over what had been previously a path, or what was 
called Forbes's Trail. This trail passed through Bedford, Westmoreland, 
and other counties. In those days the State surveyed and laid out county 
seats and sold the lots. The lots were generally sold at auction. All gov- 
ernment stores, as well as groceries and goods of every description, were 
for a long time carried from the east to the west on pack-horses over trails. 
One man would sometimes drive a hundred horses. 

Guards from the militia were a necessity for their trains. Guards were 
also a necessity for the road surveyors and road-makers. A bodj' of about 
fifty militia was the usual number, and sometimes these soldiers would do 
some work as well as guard the road-makers. Transportation was also car- 
ried over Meade's Trail, which passed through West Reynoldsville, in the 
same way. In 1787 the only road from Fort Pitt to Le Boeuf (now Water- 
ford) was a trail or path through what is now Butler County and up the 
Allegheny River. The turnpike over or across the old Forbes's Trail was 
finished to Pittsburg in 1819. 

In 1794 the great problem was a thoroughfare from the east to the north- 
west. The defence of the western portion of the State from Indians required 
the State and the national authorities to be constantly on the alert. On the 

181 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

28th of February, 1794, the Legislature passed an act for " raising soldiers 
for the defence of the western frontiers." Also at this time a combined 
effort of the nation and State was made to lay out a town at Presque Isle 
(now Erie) on Lake Erie. 

WHY THE STATE ROAD WAS MADE 

In order to protect these frontiers from the British and Indians a road 
through this wilderness seemed an absolute necessity, hence an act was 
passed through the Legislature previous to or in 1794, authorizing the 
surveying and making of a State road from Reading to Presque Isle (Erie 
City). Colonel William Irvine and Andrew Ellicott were the commissioners. 
These men were also commissioners to lay out the town of Erie (Presque 
Isle). The official instructions to the commissioners and Captain Denny 
were as follows : 

" Philadelphia, March i, 1794. 

" Gentlemen, — In providing for the general defence of the frontiers, 
the Legislature has authorized me to form a detachment of troops, for carry- 
ing into effect the act directing a town to be laid out at or near Presque Isle ; 
and as the subject of the commission to survey and lay out a road from 
Reading to Presque Isle may be promoted by the same measure, I have 
instructed Captain Denny, the commanding officer of the detachment, to 
grant to you as commissioners all the aid and protection that is compatible 
with a due attention to the particular charge which is confided to him. 
Under these circumstances, I trust you will find it convenient to proceed 
immediately in the execution of your work. 

" I am, gentlemen, 

" Your most obedient servant, 

" Thomas Mifflin. 

" To William Irvine and Andrew Ellicott, Commissioners for lay- 
ing out a road from Reading to Presque Isle." 

" Philadelphia, March i, 1794. 
" The Legislature having made provision for surveying and opening two 
roads,— one from Reading and the other from French Creek to Presque Isle, 
— it is obvious that the establishment of the town is intimately connected with 
those objects; and, therefore, you shall deem it your duty to grant all the 
aid and protection to the respective commissioners and contractors employed 
in surveying and opening those roads that is compatible with due attention 
to the particular charge confided in you. 

"Your most obedient servant, ' -; - 

" Thomas Mifflin. 
■' To Ebenezer Denny, Esq., Captain of the Allegheny Company, &c." 

182 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

FIRST ATTEMPT TO OPEN THE ROAD 

Captain Ebenezer Denny, with a detachment of soldiers, was ordered by 
the government to accompany these men. On the arrival of Denny and the 
soldiers at what is now Franklin, Venango County, he discovered that the 
Indians were cross and ugly, and General Wilkins, in talking to Mr. Dallas, 
said, " The English are fixed in their opposition to the opening of the road 
to Presque Isle, and are determined to prevent it by the English and Indians." 
Orders were then given to Captain Denny to go no farther than Le Boeuf 
(now Waterford), and occupy two small block-houses, which had been 
erected for Commissioners Irvine and Ellicott. 

This was the first attempt to open up an east and west road through this 
wilderness. Governor Mifflin applied to the President for a thousand militia 
soldiers to enforce this work; but the President counselled peace. Work 
was suspended at Presque Isle, and it was not until in April, 1795, that all 
difficulties were removed and Colonel William Irvine and Andrew Ellicott 
resumed work. At this time Irvine commanded the troops and Ellicott had 
charge of the surveyors. 

LAWS, ETC., TOUCHING THE SUBJECT 

An Act to provide for opening a road from near the Bald Eagle's 
Nest, in Mifflin County, to Le Boeuf, in the county of Allegheny,' passed April 
10, 1790, published in full in Bioren's ' Laws of Pennsylvania,' vol. vi. p. 24. 
The reference in the preamble of this act to a road ' in part laid out from 
Reading to Presque Isle,' is probably to an act passed April 11, 1793, appro- 
priating certain sums of money for laying out a large number of roads within 
the State. The following appropriation is made in the first section : ' For 
viewing and laying out a road from Reading to Presque Isle, one thousand 
three hundred and thirty-three dollars.' This act appears in Bioren's ' Laws,' 
vol. iv. p. 277 et seq. It is possible, however, that the reference was intended 
to apply to a road from the Bald Eagle's Nest to the Allegheny River, which 
was surveyed and laid out under an act passed April 4, ,1796, entitled ' An 
Act for laying out and opening sundry roads within this Commonwealth, 
and for other purposes.' This act will be found in full in Bioren's ' Laws,' 
vol. v. p. 187. By this act the governor was authorized and empowered to 
appoint ' three skilful persons to view the ground, and estimate the expense 
of opening and making a good wagon road from the Bald Eagle's Nest, or 
the end of the Nittany Mountain, to the town of Erie at Presque Isle.' 

"Under this last act the governor, on the 13th day of April, 1796, 
appointed William Irvine, Andrew Ellicott, and George Wilson commis- 
sioners to make the survey. Andrew Ellicott declined the appointment, and 
Joseph Ellicott was appointed in his place. These men met to examine the 
situation of the country at the Bald Eagle's Nest and at the end of Nittany 
Mountain, and determined to start at the Bald Eagle's Nest, now Miles- 

183 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

burg, Centre County. It appears, however, that William Irvine returned 
home, and George Wilson and Joseph Ellicott proceeded to make the survey. 
Their draft and report are among the records of the department, at Harris- 
burg, and show their work from the Bald Eagle's Nest to the Allegheny 
River, a distance of one hundred and sixteen miles by their measurement. 
After reaching the Allegheny River, they say that in consequence of the 
failure of horses [gnats and flies killed them], the scarcity of provisions, the 
advanced season of the year, and various other obstacles which retarded the 
prosecution of the business, they were compelled to relinquish the object of 
their mission, and have left above thirty-six miles of the road unfinished.' " 

THE SURVEY 

The point on the Allegheny River where these surveyors stopped in the 
fall of 1796 was on the land where Eli Holeman settled in 1800. It is three 
miles below Tionesta borough, Forest County, Pennsylvania. For the twenty 
years of travel and traffic of emigrants and others over this old State Road 
each and all had to ford or cross this ferry. The old State Road never 
passed through where Clarion now is, or through Franklin or Meadville. 
It passed through the wilderness away north of these towns, but connected 
with other State roads running through them. All of the county histories 
which have been written prior to this one confound this road with the turn- 
pike, which was not finished or opened for traffic until November, 1824. At 
Brookville the turnpike survey in 1818 took a separate and distinct southerly 
course from the old State Road, and passed through Franklin, Meadville, 
and so forth. 

THE ROAD COMPLETED 

The road was officially taken from the contractors and a quietus entered 
as to the contract April 2, 1804. The course of the road through what is now 
Winslow Township was through Rathmel, down Sandy Lick to the south 
side, crossing the creek between Sandy Valley and near where West Rey- 
noldsville now is, where it deflected to the right over the hill, through the 
farm now occupied by Robert Waite. This State Road was the great public 
thoroughfare for emigrants from the east to the northwest for a period of 
twenty years, until the turnpike was finished in 1824. A portion of about 
seven miles is still in use from Brookville to the Clarion County line, parallel 
with but north of that part of the turnpike which extends from Brookville 
to Corsica. 

SANCTIONED BY THE LEGISLATURE 

The following is the act which authorized the building of the State Road, 
of which this article is a history : 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" AN ACT FOR LAYING OUT AND OPENING SUNDRY ROADS WITHIN THIS COM- 
MONWEALTH, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES 

" Whereas, From the increasing population of the northern and north- 
western parts of this State, it becomes expedient at this time to provide for 
the laying out and opening the necessary roads, for the accommodation of 
the same ; therefore, 

" Section i. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives, 
etc., That the governor be, and he is hereby, authorized and empowered to 
appoint three skilful persons to view the ground and estimate the expense of 
opening and making a good wagon road from the town of Northampton, 
in the county of Northampton, to the mouth of Tioga, in the county of 
Luzerne, and from thence, by the most practical route, to the northern 
line of this State ; and three skilful persons to view the ground and estimate 
the expense of opening and making a good wagon road from the Bald 
Eagle's Nest, or the end of the Nittany Mountain, to the town of Erie, at 
Presque Isle ; and to cause the said roads to be surveyed and staked out by 
the most practicable routes ; and also to cause drafts of the roads to be made 
in profile, and report to the Legislature the proportional parts of the expense 
that will be incurred in each county through which the said road will pass ; 
provided that the commissioners thus appointed shall not stake out any part 
of the said roads when they may be carried on roads heretofore laid oiit and 
opened agreeably to the provisions of former laws of this State. 

" Section 2. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid. That 
the governor be, and he is hereby, empowered to contract, either with indi- 
viduals, or with companies, for opening a road from Pittsburg, by the way of 
Fort Franklin, to Le Boeuf, and to draw his warrant on the State Treasurer 
for a sum not exceeding two thousand dollars, to defray the expense of 
laying out the roads to Tioga and Erie ; a sum not exceeding four thousand 
dollars, to defray the expense of opening the road from Pittsburg, by Fort 
Franklin, to Le Boeuff. Provided always, That all contracts to be made by 
virtue of this act shall be registered by the governor, according to the 
directions of the eighth section of the act, entitled ' An Act to provide for 
the opening and improving sundry navigable waters and roads within the 
Commonwealth,' passed the thirteenth day of April, one thousand seven 
hundred and ninety-one.* 

" Section 3. And be it further enacted, etc.. That the governor be, and 
he is hereby, empowered to draw his warrant in favor of Joseph Horsefield 
for any sum not exceeding five hundred dollars, to be applied toward remov- 
ing the fallen timber and other obstructions in the road leading from Jacob 
Heller's tavern, in Northampton County, to Wilkesbarre, in Luzerne County. 

" Passed 4th April, 1796." 

* For the act referred to in this section, see vol. iv. chap. 1558. 

18.S 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

CONTRACT AND REPORTS 

Here is a copy of the contract and the reports of John Fleming re- 
lating to the road from Bald Eagle's Nest to Le Boeuff : 

" Articles of Agreement made and entered into this third day of 
July, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety-nine, 
between Thomas Mifflin, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, of 
the one part, and Samuel Miles and Roger Alden, of the City of Philadel- 
phia, Esquires, of the other part. 

" Whereas, In and by an Act of the General Assembly, entitled ' An 
Act to provide for opening a Road from near the Bald Eagle's Nest, in 
Mifflin county, to Le Bceuff, in the county of Allegheny,' passed the tenth 
day of April, in the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety-nine, the 
Governor is empowered to contract for opening and improving the said road 
in the manner and on the terms in the said act prescribed : and Whereas, 
The said Samuel Miles and Roger Alden have made proposals for entering 
into the said contract upon principles which appear to the Governor most 
likely to accomplish the good purposes by the Legislature intended: Now 
these Articles Witness, That the said Samuel Miles and Roger Alden, 
jointly and severally for themselves, their Heirs, Executors, and Adminis- 
trators, covenant, promise, and agree to and with the said Thomas Mifflin 
and his successors. Governors of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in 
consideration of the Covenant on behalf of the said Commonwealth herein- 
after made, That they, the said Samuel Miles and Roger Alden, their Heirs, 
Executors, and Administrators, shall and will, well and faithfully, and with 
all convenient diligence, open, extend, and improve the said Road in manner 
following, — that is to say: That the Road shall be opened. generally of such 
width as to enable and admit two waggons to pass each other, except only in 
such place or places as from great natural difficulty of Mountains, Hills, 
Rocks, and Morasses shall render such an undertaking impracticable or 
unreasonably laborious and expensive, considering the public consideration 
therefor given. But in all such place or places there shall be a good passage 
of at least ten feet wide, with proper and convenient passing places in view : 
And that the said Contractors will advance by anticipation (if necessary) the 
sums of money requisite to open the said Road in the manner aforesaid. And 
the said Thomas Mifflin, in consideration of the Covenants and undertaking 
of the said Contractors, and by virtue of the power in the said Act of Assem- 
bly to him given, covenants, promises, and agrees to and with the said Samuel 
Miles and Roger Alden, their Executors, Administrators, and Assigns, 'that 
they shall have and receive the sum of Five Thousand Dollars, to be paid out 
of the first money arising from the sale of the reserved Lands & Lots at the 
Towns of Erie, Franklin, Warren, and Waterford : And for which sum of 
Five Thousand Dollars, the said Thomas Mifflin covenants, promises, and 

i86 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

agrees to draw his Warrant or Warrants on the State Treasurer in favor of 
the said Contractors. In Witness whereof the parties have hereunto set their 
respective hands & seals the day and year first above written. 

(Signed) " Samuel Miles, [seal] 

Roger Alden, [seal] 
" Sealed and Delivered Thos. Mifflin, [seal] 

in the presence of 
A. W. Foster, 
Jno. Miles." 

To the above contract appear the names of George Fox, James Phillips, 
■ and Tench Coxe as sureties for its " true, faithful, perfect, and diligent per- 
formance," and also the following endorsement on the back of the same : 

" The Governor, being satisfied, from three several reports of John 
Fleming, Esquire, (the two first dated on the i6th of December, 1801, & the 
loth of January, 1803, respectively; & the last without date, but delivered 
into the Secretary's OfSce in the month of January last,) that Samuel Miles 
& Roger Alden, Esquires, have completed their contract for opening a road 
from near the Bald Eagle's Nest to Le Boeuff, by opening and improving the 
same agreeably to the terms of said contract, as far as could reasonably be 
expected from the situation and nature of the country through which said 
road passes, & the public consideration given therefor, this day directed a 
quietus to be entered upon the contract. 

(Signed) " T. M. Thompson, Sec. 

" April the 2nd, 1804." 

" To HIS Excellency Thomas McKean, Esquire, Governor of the State of 
Pennsylvania: 

" Sir, — In pursuance of your Excellency's letter appointing me a Com- 
missioner to view and report on that part of the State Road from Milesburg 
to Le Boeuflf, which was undertaken to be opened by Col. Samuel Miles, I 
proceeded to Milesburg and viewed the said Road as shewn to me by Mr. 
Richard Miles, and beg leave to submit the following Report : 

" Beginning at Milesburg the road crosses Bald Eagle creek, over which 
is a sufficient wooden Bridge, thence up the said creek on the north side of it 
for five miles; the road passable for waggons. Within these five miles, on 
the west side of Wallis's run, there is some wet ground a little swampy. 

" Leaving the Bald Eagle creek and thence to the foot of the Allegheny 
mountain, five miles, the Road is good excepting some trees that have fallen 
across it since it was opened. 

" Across the mountain is three miles. The ascent is one mile, of which 
240 perches are dug, in some places, nine feet wide. Toward the top it is too 
steep for carriages. The descent of the mountain is about two miles and 
gradual. 

187 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" About one mile from the foot of the mountain is a small run diflficult 
to pass. 

" Here I must beg leave to remark, as applicable to this as well as to other 
small runs that may be mentioned in this Report, that many very small streams 
in the country over which this road passes run in narrow channels, the bot- 
toms of which lie from one to three feet below the surface of the earth. A 
footman can step over many of them, where, from the nature of the soil at the 
bottom, a horse is in great danger of being mired. 

" After crossing the last-mentioned run there is a hill which in ascent 
there are thirty perches, and in descent twelve perches not passable for wag- 
gons for want of digging. Near this are two small runs, both difficult to 
pass. 

" To Phillipsburg from thence, a distance of more than eight miles, the 
Road is good, excepting some very swampy ground on the east of what is 
called the five mile run, and some miry ground at Coldstream, one mile from 
Phillipsburg. Some more work is necessary on the hill west of the five mile 
run. The whole distance from Milesburg to Phillipsburg is twenty-six miles. 

" Passing Phillipsburg one mile is Moshannon creek. It is not bridged 
nor is it fordable at the place where the Road crosses it at any season. There 
is some timber prepared at the place for a bridge. It is about six perches 
wide with steep banks. There is a Fording about half a mile below. Three 
miles further the road is good excepting a few wet places. Within two miles 
further there are two runs, the banks of which are dug, and the road is good. 

"Thence to Clearfield creek, four miles, some digging done in two places, 
and on the hill descending to Clearfield forty perches are well dug; the road 
is good. 

" Thence to the Susquehanna river, five miles, the road good. The 
breadth of the river is twelve perches. 

" Thence to Anderson's creek, nearly three miles, some digging done on 
Hogback hill. The road in general good. 

" Thence to a branch of Anderson's creek, about eight miles, several 
places dug and some bridges made : the road is tolerably good. More 
digging and bridges wanted. 

" Thence to the waters of Stump creek, about three miles, several bridges 
made and digging done in some places ; the road good. 

" Thence five miles, crossing two ridges on each of which there is dig- 
ging done, and several runs, two of which are bridged. In the latter part of 
these five miles are two runs necessary to be bridged. With this exception the 
road is tolerably good. 

" Thence to a branch of Sandy Lick creek, about six miles, in several 
places the road is dug and some bridges made. The road tolerably good. 

"Thence about three miles; several steep banks, deep runs and wet 
places; road not passable. 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" Thence to the end of Col. Miles' opening is four miles. The road good. 

" From Milesburg until the road crosses the Susquehanna the road is 

opened from sixteen to twenty feet wide, and from thence to the end it is 

opened from twelve to sixteen feet wide. The whole length of the road 

opened as aforesaid by Col. Miles is seventy-four miles and eighty-six perches. 

(Signed) " Jno. Fleming. 

" December i6, 1801." 

Only the commonest goods were hauled into this county from Phila- 
delphia over the old State Road. The freightage from Philadelphia to Port 
Barnett was about six dollars per one hundred pounds, and it took four weeks 
to come from Philadelphia. In 1800 wheat brought one dollar and a half a 
bushel, wheat flour four and five dollars per one hundred pounds, corn one 
dollar per bushel, oats seventy-five cents, potatoes sixty-five cents. Tobacco 
was sold by the }ard at four cents per yard, common sugar thirty-three cents, 
and loaf (white sugar) fifty cents per pound. A hunter's rifle cost twenty- 
five dollars, a yoke of oxen eighty dollars, boots from one to three dollars, a 
pair of moccasins about three or four .shillings. 

S. B. Rowe, in his " Pioneer History of Clearfield County," says, " The 
State, in order to connect the western frontier with the eastern settlements, 
had laid out several roads, among others one leading from Milesburg to Erie. 
This road was opened in the year 1803. It crossed the Susquehanna River 
near the residence of Benjamin Jordan. 

" The Milesburg and Le Bceuff road became subsequently an important 
and leading thoroughfare. It was a road of the worst kind, laid out with very 
little skill, and made with a great deal of dishonesty. It had but one bridge — 
at Moshannon — between Bellefonte and Anderson's Creek, and to avoid dig- 
ging the hill-side, Anderson's Creek was crossed three tfmes in less than two 
miles. Large quantities of merchandise passed over it, principally upon pack- 
horses, companies of which, exceeding a score in number, might often be 
seen traversing it. Until the place of this road was supplied by an artificial 
road, located on or near its bed, it was the principal road leading to Erie and 
the great West. About the time the State Road was supplanted by the turn- 
pike the now almost forgotten Conestoga wagon, with its heavy horses, 
walking leisurely along, their tread measured by the jingling of bells, afforded 
cheaper and better mode of transportation for goods. A trip to Philadelphia 
to purchase goods or to ' see the sights' of that village was then quite an 
undertaking, and called for weeks of preparation." 

"To HIS Excellency Thomas McKean, Esquire, Governor of the Com- 
monwealth of Pennsylvania: 
" Agreeably to your Instructions received through the Secretary of the 
Commonwealth, I proceeded to review that part of the road leading from 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

Milesburg to Le Boeuff, opened by Major Roger Alden, and beg leave to 
submit the following report : 

" Beginning at the west end of Col. Samuel Miles' opening, 

" 2 miles, a hill with some digging ; the road good. 

" ij4 miles to the crossing of the north branch of Sandy Lick creek. 
The road good. 

" 9 m farther. The road good. 

"4 m of rough road. There is in this distance four streams of water 
crossing it, with bad hills on each side of each of them. They are generally 
all dug that carriages may pass. 

"4m farther to Toby's creek [Clarion River] : some digging done on 
the descent of the hill going down to the creek— the road tolerably good. 

"2m farther to the hill descending to Little Toby creek [Venango 
County]. The road good. When I reported before, this descent to the 
creek was impassable with waggons ; since that time the road has been 
changed, and laid on better ground, and the road dug. The road good. 
West of the creek the road is somewhat difficult for carriages. 

" 4 m. The road passable for carriages. 

" I m. A hill descending to Licking creek, bad, as is also the hill on 
the west side of the creek. There is some digging done here. These hills 
comprehend a distance exceeding a mile. 

" 10 m. Road good, lying on chestnut ridges. In this distance there is 
little difference in the road. 

" 4 m to the Allegheny river, lying over pine ridges, some of them steep. 
The hill to the river near a mile long. Since my last report some bridging 
and digging has been done. Passable for carriages. 

"6m from the crossing of the Allegheny river to Pithole creek. The 
road crosses several ridges, one of which is dug. 

" 2 m of good road. 

" 2 m of very swampy ground, principally bridged and causewayed. 
Passable with carriages. 

" 3 m to the crossing of the south-east branch of Oil creek. There are 
several bridges made in this distance. There is a good one across the creek. 
The road good. 

" 7 m to the crossing of the N. W. branch Oil creek. There are several 
bridges made in this distance. Since my last report the fording of the creek 
is changed for the better. 

" I m. West of the creek for near a mile the road is altered, making • 
the ascent of the hills that I noticed easier. They are still difficult for car- 
riages. 

" 7 m to where this road intersects the public road from Pittsburg to Le 
Boeuff by the way of Franklin. In this distance the road in general is good. 
A number of bridges are made on it. 

igo 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

•' 3 m to the crossing of Muddy creek — several bridges made. The road 
something wet. 

" 12 m to the crossing of French creek — a number of bridges made. 
" 3 m to Le Bceuflf — a number of bridges made, and the road good. From 
the intersection of the FrankHn road to Le Bceuff the soil is generally wet. 

" I would generally observe that a considerable quantity of timber is fallen 
across the road, and the sprouts in such quantities grown up in many places, 
since the road was opened, as to render travelling difficult. There has not 
been any cutting done since I reported, unless where the road is changed in 
the two places before mentioned. 
" I am Sir, 

'■ Your Excellency's very humble servant, 

" John Fleming." 

An act making appropriation for certain improvements on this road 
in Erie, Crawford, Venango, Jefiferson, and Armstrong Counties was passed 
in i8ii, and appropriating two thousand four hundred dollars therefor. 

In 1749 the governor-general of Canada sent an expedition under Celeron 
de Bienville down what is now known as the Allegheny and Ohio Rivers, 
to take possession of the country in the name of the king of France. The 
command embraced two hundred and fifteen French and Canadian soldiers 
and fifty-five Indians. Father Bonnecamp, a chaplain of this expedition, 
drew a map of the route, locating the tribes of Indians, and giving the Indian 
names of the tributaries of these rivers and also the names of the Indian vil- 
lages. This manuscript map was deposited and is still in the archives of the 
Department de la Farine in Paris, and is styled " Map of a Voyage made 
on the Beautiful River in New Flanders, 1749, by Rev. Father Bonnecamp, 
Jesuit Mathematician." The map is very correct, considering all the circum- 
stances. It has been reproduced on a smaller scale by George Dallas Albert 
and published in " The Frontier Forts of Pennsylvania," in vol. ii., with an 
explanation of the map, French names, and their corresponding American 
designations. In this map I find Riviere au Vermilion emptying into the 
Allegheny River, corresponding to the exact location of what is now called 
Red Bank Creek, and unfortunately translated by Mr. Albert as Mahoning 
Creek. On the Allegheny River going downward I find Riviere aux Boeuf, 
Beef, or Buffalo River, now called French Creek; then Riviere au Fiel, — 
Gall River or Clarion River; third, Riviere au Vermilion or Red Bank 
Creek; fourth, a stream not named, which must have been Mahoning; and 
then Attique, a village, or what is now Kittanning. Mr. Albert should 
have named the undesignated stream Mahoning and the Vermilion River 
Red Bank. 

In 1798 this stream was designated by legal statute as Sandy Lick or 
Red Bank Creek, but later by common acceptance the name Sandy Lick was 

191 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

applied to that portion above where the North Fork unites, and Red Bank 
from Brookville to the mouth. 

" The first lot of lumber which Barnett and Scott sent down the Red 
Bank was a small platform of timber, with poles instead of oars as the pro- 
pelling power. There was a flood in this stream in 1806 which reached eight 
or ten feet up the trees on the flats. 

" One thousand dollars was appropriated by the act of Assembly ' making 
appropriations for certain internal improvements,' approved March 24, 1817, 
for the purpose of improving this creek, and Levi Gibson and Samuel C. Orr 
were appointed commissioners to superintend the application of the money. 
By the act of April 4, 1826, ' Sandy Lick, or Red Bank Creek,' was declared 




Dri\injc logs 



a public highway only for the passage of boats, rafts, etc., descending it. 
That act also made it lawful for all persons owning lands adjoining this 
stream to erect mill-dams across it, and other water-works along it, to keep 
them in good repair, and draw off enough water to operate them on their own 
land, but required them ' to make a slope from the top, descending fifteen 
feet for every foot the dam is high, and not less than forty feet in breadth,' 
so as to afford a good navigation, and not to infringe the rights and privileges 
of any owner of private property. 

" The first flat-boat that descended this stream was piloted by Samuel 
Ivnapp, in full Indian costume. In 1832 or 1833 two boats loaded with sawed 

192 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

lumber owned by Uriah Matson, which found a good market in Cincinnati,' 
with the proceeds of which Matson purchased the goods with which he 
opened his store at Brookville." — History of Armstrong County. 

An act declaring the rivers Ohio and Allegheny, and certain branches 
thereof, public highways, — 

" Section i. Be it enacted, etc., That from and after the passing of 
this act, the river Ohio, from the western boundary of the State up to the 
mouth of the Monongahela, Big Beaver Creek, from the mouth of the first 
fork in the seventh district of donation land, Allegheny River, from the 
mouth to the northern boundary of the State, French Creek to the town of 
Le Bceuf, and Conewango Creek, from the mouth thereof to the State line, 
Cussawago Creek, from the mouth of the main forks,' Little Coniate Creek, 
from the mouth up to the inlet of the little Coniate Lake, Toby's Creek, 
from the mouth up to the second fork (now Clarion River, and Johnsonburg 
was the second fork), Oil Creek, from the mouth up to the main fork, Broken 
Straw Creek, from the mouth up to the second fork, Sandy Lick, or Red Bank 
Creek, from the mouth up to the second great fork, be, and the same are 
hereby declared to be public streams and highways for the passage of boats 
and rafts ; and it shall and may be lawful for the inhabitants or others de- 
sirous of using the navigation of the said river and branches thereof to remove 
all natural obstructions in the said river and branches aforesaid." 

Passed March 21, 1798. Recorded in Law Book No. VL, page 245. 

The first fork was at Brookville's site, the second great fork was at 
Port Barnett. 

An act. No. 189, declaring Little Toby's Creek, Black Lick Creek, Little 
Oil Creek, and Clark's Creek public highways, — 

" Section i. Be it enacted, etc., That from and after the passage of this 
act Little Toby's Creek, in the counties of Clearfield and Jefferson, from the 
mouth of John Shaffer's mill run, on the main branch of Toby's Creek, and 
from the forks of Brandy Camp (or Kersey Creek) to the Clarion River, 

be, and the same are hereby declared public highways for the passage of rafts, 
boats, and other craft, and it shall and ma:y be lawful for, etc. (The same 
provisions follow here as in No. 129.) 

" Approved — the fourteenth day of April, a.d. one thousand eight hun- 
dred and twenty-eight. 

" J. Andw. Shultz, 

" Governor." 



13 ^93 



CHAPTER IX 



PROVISION FOR OPENING A ROAD — REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONERS TO THE 

GOVERNOR STREAMS, ETC. 

" AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR OPENING A ROAD FROM NEAR THE BALD EAGLE's 
NEST, IN MIFFLIN COUNTY, TO LE BCEUF, IN THE COUNTY OF ALLE- 
GHENY 

" Whereas, A road has, under the direction of the Legislature, been in 
part laid out from Reading and Presque Isle [a peninsula], and whereas. It 
is considered that opening and improving said road would be greatly con- 
ducive to the interests of the community by opening a communication with 
the northwest part of the State, and would much facilitate an intercourse with 
Lake Erie; 

" Section i. Therefore be it enacted, etc., That the governor be empow- 
ered to contract for the opening and improving of the road between the Bald 
Eagle's Nest and the Allegheny River to Le Bceuf. 

" Section 2. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That 
when it shall appear to the persons who may contract for the opening of said 
road that deviations from such parts of the road as laid out are essentially 
necessary, he or they shall be authorized to make such deviations, provided 
that such deviations do not depart materially from the survey already made. 

" Section 3. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid. That 
m order to carry this into effect the governor is empowered to draw his 
warrant on the State Treasurer for five thousand dollars, to be paid out of 
the sale of reserved lands and lots in the towns of Erie, FrankHn, Warren, 
and Waterford." 

Passed April 10, 1799. Recorded in Law Book No. VI., p. 443. 

The Bald Eagle's Nest referred to above was Milesburg. The nest was 
not that of a bird, but that of an Indian warrior of that name, who built his 
wigwam there between two large white oaks. The western terminus of the 
road, then called Le Boeuf, is now known as Waterford, Erie County, Penn- 
sylvania. On the completion of the turnpike most of this road was abandoned 
in this county. It is still in use from Brookville, about seven or eight miles 
of It, to the Olean road north of Corsica. It passed through where Brook- 
ville now IS, near or on what is now Coal Alley. It was a great thoroughfare 
for the pioneers going to the West and Northwest. 

194 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONERS WHO MADE THE SURVEY OF THE ROAD TO THE 

GOVERNOR 

" Whereas, In and by an Act of the General Assembly entitled ' An 
Act for laying out and opening sundry Roads within this Commonwealth 
and for other purposes,' it is among other things provided and declared, that 
your Excellency shall be empowered and required to appoint three persons 
as Commissioners, ' to view the ground and estimate the expense of opening 
and making a good Waggon Road from the Bald Eagle's Nest, or the end of 
Nittany Mountain, to the Town of Erie at Presque-isle, and to cause the said 




Road to be Surveyed and staked out, by the most practicable Route, and 
also cause a draft of the survey to be made out in Profile, and to report to the 
Legislature the several parts of the expense that will be incurred in each 
County through which the said Road will pass: Provided, That the Com- 
missioners thus appointed shall not stake out any part of the said Road when 
it may be carried on Roads heretofore laid out and opened, agreeably to the 
Provisions of former laws of this State.' 

195 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" And Whereas, In pursuance of the power and authority given and 
granted in and by the said recited Act of Assembly, William Irvine, Andrew 
Ellicott, and George Wilson, Esquires, were by Letters Patent under your 
Excellency's hand, and the great Seal of the State, bearing date the thirteenth 
day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety- 
six, appointed Commissioners for the purposes aforesaid; but the said 
Andrew Ellicott, Esq., hath since resigned the said appointment, and his 
resignation hath been duly accepted. 

" And Whereas, In pursuance of the power and authority given and 
granted in and by the said recited Act of Assembly, Joseph Ellicott was, by 
Letters Patent, under your Excellency's Hand and the great Seal of the State, 
bearing date the nineteenth day of August, in the year of our Lord one thou- 
sand seven hundred and ninety-six, appointed a Commissioner in the lieu and 
stead of the said Andrew Ellicott, Esq., who had resigned as aforesaid, and in 
conjunction with the said William Irvine and George Wilson, Esquires, the 
two other Commissioners for the purpose of viewing and laying out the said 
Road in manner as stated in and by the above recited Act of Assembly. 

" Now Therefore, The said George Wilson and Joseph Ellicott, two 
of the Commissioners appointed as aforesaid for the purposes aforesaid, beg 
leave to report : 

" I. That the said William Irvine, George Wilson, and Joseph Ellicott, 
the Commissioners appointed as aforesaid, in conformity to your Excel- 
lency's Instructions in pursuance of the above recited Act of Assembly, with 
all convenient dispatch, in the execution of the trust reposed in them, pro- 
ceeded to examine the situation of the Country at the Bald Eagle's Nest 
and to the end of Nittany Mountain, and having viewed the respective scites, 
they unanimously agreed to take their departure from the Bald Eagle's 
Nest. As soon as this decision took place the said William Irvine left the 
other Commissioners and returned home. 

" II. That the said George Wilson and Joseph Ellicott then proceeded 
to view, survey, and stake out by a route, in their opinion, deemed the most 
practicable, a Road from the Bald Eagle's Nest toward the town of Erie 
at Presque-isle, and that they have ascertained the various courses and dis- 
tances, the topographical situation, &c., of the said Road for the length of 
one hundred and sixteen miles, as represented in and by the Draft in profile 
hereunto annexed. 

"III. That in consequence of the failure of Horses, the scarcity of 
Provisions, the advanced season of the year, and various odier obstacles 
which retarded the prosecution of the business, they were compelled to relin- 
quish the object of their mission, and have left above thirty-six miles of the 
Road unfinished. 

" IV. That they have used their utmost diligence and attention to direct 
the course of the said Road over firm and level ground ; but that frequently 

196 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

became totally impracticable, and where the ascent and descent of hills and 
mountains became unavoidable they made use of an altitude level, and have 
so adjusted its course that in its greatest elevation or depression it never 
exceeds an angle of six degrees with the horizon: Hence it may easily be 
inferred that considerable deviations from a straight line have necessarily 
occurred. 

" V. That the land in that part of MifHin County through which the 
Road passes is generally of an indifferent quality. For a part of this dis- 
tance the Road passes over the declivities of the Allegheny Mountain and the 
Mushanon Hills. The country, however, for several miles between the sum- 
mit of the Allegheny Mountain and the Mushanon hills, and also that part 
of Huntingdon County which the Road intersects, is generally level and free 
from stones, well timbered with Hickory, White and Black Oak, Dogwood, 
Ash, Chestnut, Poplar, White Pine, &c., and upon the whole well calculated 
for settlements. The soil of that part of Lycoming County which is inter- 
sected by the Road is generally of a luxuriant quality, abounding in man}- 
places with Stone coal, well timbered with various species of wood, and 
adapted to the production of all kinds of grain, &c., peculiar to the climate. 

" VI. Your Commissioners with pleasure remark that from the Susque- 
hanna River at Anderson's Creek to the first navigable stream of Sandy Lick 
Creek (a branch of Allegheny River) the portage along the said road is but 
twenty-two Miles. The road crosses Sandy Lick Creek about fifty miles 
from its junction with the Allegheny River, and from the Susquehanna to 
the North-Western branch of Sandy Lick Creek [Brookville] the portage is 
thirty-three miles. The North-Western branch discharges its waters into 
Sandy Lick Creek, about sixty perches below the place where it is intersected 
by the Road at the junction of the North-Western branch. The Sandy Lick 
Creek is as large as the Susquehanna River at Anderson's Creek, and the dis- 
tance of the said Creek from the Allegheny River is about thirty-five miles. 
The Portage from the Susquehanna at Anderson's to Toby's Creek is forty- 
nine miles. Toby's Creek is twenty-two perches wide, and its distance from 
the intersection of the Road to the Allegheny River is about forty miles. It is 
navigable for boats, rafts, &c., from the intersection of the Road to the Alle- 
gheny River and about fifty or sixty miles above the place of intersection. 
The portage from the Susquehanna to the Allegheny River at Sussunadohtaw 
is seventy-two miles, and for the greater part of the distance of these portages 
the Road passes through a rich and fertile country. 

" VII. That your Commissioners have formed their estimate of expenses 
upon the supposition that the said Road, as far as it has been surveyed, will 
be opened thirty feet in width; sixteen feet in the middle to be cut and 
cleared as nearly level with the surface of the earth as practicable, but where 
digging and levelling on the sides of Hills and Mountains shall become 
necessary that a passage will be dug twelve feet wide, and that Bridges and 

197 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

causeways will be erected and formed over all miry places to enable Waggons 
to pass. 

" A general estimate of expenditures requisite in opening, clearing, dig- 
ging, levelling, erecting Bridges and forming causeways over the said Road. 

" The expenses in opening the Road through the County of Mifflin, com- 
mencing at the Bald Eagle's Nest and ending at the Big Mushanon Creek, 
nineteen miles & sixteen perches. 

" For opening, cleaning, digging, levelling, forming cause- \ „ .^ 
ways on the said Road and erecting a Bridge over the Little I , 

Mushanon in the said County. I 

" The expenses in opening the Road through the County of Huntingdon, 
commencing at the Big Mushanon Creek and ending at the West branch of the 
Susquehanna River, twenty-one miles one hundred and fifty-seven perches. 

" For opening, clearing, digging, levelling, forming cause- "j 
ways on the said Road and erecting a Bridge over Alder Run in t 2643.37. 
said County. I 

" The expenses in opening the Road through the County of Ly- 
coming commencing at the West branch of Susquehanna and ending at the 
Allegheny River, seventy-two miles & 193 perches. 

" For opening, clearing, digging, levelling, and forming ) 
Causeways on the said Road. I 

" VIII. That the said Road in its whole length passes through one 
entire and uninterrupted Wilderness, and the expenses already incurred in 
the execution of the business have considerably exceeded the legal appropria- 
tion intended for its completion. 

" Geo. Wilson. 
Joseph Ellicott." 




e^rai^ e^ra^ »^^ ^■^^ «■#%« «^P5i^ s^^ «^Mk^ e^rav^ 
e^raKs c^mKs eAraM ftO« HraM HwM «AraM eO^ e^raM 



CHAPTER X 



PIONEER SETTLEMENT OF WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA PIONEER PENNSYLVANIA 

INDIAN TRADERS THE PIONEER ROAD BY WAY OF THE SOUTH BRANCH 

OF THE POTOMAC AND THE VALLEY OF THE KISKIMINITAS — THE PIONEER 
ROAD FROM EAST TO WEST^ FROM RAYSTOWN (nOW BEDFORD) TO FORT 

DUQUESNE (now PITTSBURG), A MILITARY NECESSITY GENERAL JOHN 

FORBES OPENS IT IN THE SUMMER AND FALL OF I758 — COLONEL GEORGE 
WASHINGTON OPPOSED TO THE NEW ROAD AND IN FAVOR OF THE POTOMAC 
ROAD ^DEATH OF GENERAL JOHN FORBES PIONEER MAIL-COACHES, MAIL- 
ROUTES, AND POST-OFFICES 

" Western Pennsylvania was untrodden by the foot of the white man 
before the year 1700. As early as 171 5 and 1720 occasionally a trader would 
venture west of the Allegheny Mountain, and of these the first was James 
Le Tort, who resided in 1700 east of the Susquehanna, but took up his resi- 
dence west of it, at Le Tort Spring, Carlisle, in 1720. Peter Chever, John 
Evans, Henry DeVoy, Owen Nicholson, Alexander Magenty, Patrick Burns, 
George Hutchison, all of Cumberland County; Barnaby Currin, John Mc- 
Guire, a Mr. Frazier, the latter of whom had at an early day a trading-house 
at Venango, but afterwards at the Monongahela, at the mouth of Turtle 
Creek, were all traders among the Indians. But no attempt had been made 
by the whites at settlements in the region now occupied by the several coun- 
ties west of the Alleghenies before 1748, when the Ohio Company was 
formed. This company sent out the undaunted Christopher Gist, in 1750, to 
explore the country and make report. He, it is said, explored the country 
' from the South Branch of the Potomac northward to the heads of the 
Juniata River, crossed the mountains, and reached the Allegheny by the 
valley of Kiskiminitas. He crossed the Allegheny about four miles above 
the forks, where Pittsburg now stands, thence went down the Ohio to some 
point below Beaver River, and thence over to the Muskingum valley.' The 
first actual settlement made was within the present limits of Fayette County, 
in 1752, by Mr. Gist himself, on a tract of land, now well known there as 
Mount Braddock, west of the Youghiogheny River. Mr. Gist induced eleven 
families to settle around him on lands presumed to be within the Ohio 
Company's grant. 

"The more southern part of Western Pennsylvania (Greene, Washing- 
ton, Fayette, and part of Somerset), which was supposed to be within the 

199 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

boundaries of Virginia, was visited by adventurers from Maryland prior to 
1754. Among these were Wendel Brown and his two sons and Frederick 
Waltzer, who Hved four miles west of Uniontown. David Tygart had settled 
in the valley which still bears his name in Northwestern Virginia; several 
other families came here a few years afterwards. These were the only set- 
tlements attempted prior to Braddock's defeat, and those made immediately 
afterwards, or prior to 1760, were repeatedly molested, families murdered, 
cabins burnt, and, for a time, broken up, alternately abandoned and again 
occupied. 

" The treaty of 1762 brought quiet and repose to some extent to the 
English colonies, and the first settlers on the frontiers returned to their 
abandoned farms, but they were soon again obliged to leave their homes and 
retire for safety to the more densely settled parts. Bouquet prosecuted his 
campaign with success against the Indians, and in November, 1764, compelled 
the turbulent and restless Kyashuta to sue for peace and bury the hatchet on 
the plains of Muskingum, and finally humbled the Delawares and Shawnees. 
Soon after, the refugee settlers returned to their cabins and clearings, resumed 
their labors, extended their improvements, and cultivated their lands. From 
this time forth the prosperity of Pennsylvania increased rapidly, and the tide 
of immigration with consequent settlements rolled westward, though the 
pioneer settlers were afterwards greatly exposed. 

" Previous to 1758, Westmoreland was a wilderness trodden by the 
wild beast, the savage, and, like other portions of Western Pennsylvania, by 
an occasional white trader or frontiersman. No settlements were attempted 
prior to this date, when Fort Duquesne, afterwards Fort Pitt, was abandoned 
by the French, became an English military post, and formed a nucleus for 
an English settlement, and two years afterwards (1760) a small town was 
built near Fort Pitt, which contained nearly two hundred souls, but on the 
breaking out of the Indian war, in 1763, the inhabitants retired into the fort, 
and their dwellings were suffered to fall into decay. In 1765, Pittsburg was 
laid out." — History of Western Pennsylvania. 

This southern exploration was through what is now Somerset, Fayette, 
Westmoreland, and Allegheny Counties. In 1754 Lieutenant-Colonel George 
Washington, then twenty-one years old, penetrated this wilderness and im- 
proved this road. In 1755 General Braddock, accompanied by Washington, 
marched his army over this roadr Hence the road has always been called 
Braddock's road. 

The pioneer road from east to west was opened up in September, 1758, 
by General John Forbes. He commanded an army of about eight thousand 
men. General Forbes marched in the spring from Philadelphia with his 
troops to Raystown (now Bedford), but on account of the smallpox in his 
army he was detained at Carlisle, and failed to reach what is now Bedford 
until the middle of September. At a consultation of his officers at this point 



HIS'l'OUV OF NORTIIWKSTKRN J'lONNSYLVANIA 

It was (k'oick'd to cut out n \ww road over tlio moiiiilains fmin Raystown to 
I-oyalhanna, now in Wfstnioivland County, a distance of forty-five miles. 

This new road i)asso(l through what is now Bedford, Somerset, and 
Westmoreland (,'ounties. Colonel Bou(|uet, with twenty-five hundred men, 
cut out the road in September and October of that year. 

Colonel Washinj,'^lon was at this consultation, and was opposed to the 
new road. Washinfj^ton's ar(.;uments in favor of the southern route were 
as follows : 

"Camv at Fort Cumderland, August 2, 1758. 

" Sir, — The matters of which we sjjoke relative to the roads have, since 
our parting, been the subject of my closest reflection, and so far am I from 
altering my opinion that the more time and attention I bestow the more I am 
confirmed in it, and the reasons for taking Braddock's road appear in a 
stronger point of view. To enumerate the whole of these reasons would be 
tedious, and to you, who are become so much master of the subject, unne- 
cessary. I shall, therefore, briefly mention a few only, which I think so 
obvious in themselves, that they must effectually remove objections. 

" Several \ears ago the Virginians and Pennsylvanians commenced a trade 
with the Indians settled on the Ohio, and, to obviate the many inconveniences 
of a bad road, they, after reiterated and ineffectual efforts to discover where a 
good one might be made, employed for the purpose several of the most 
intelligent Indians, who. in the course of many years' hunting, had ac([uircd a 
|)erfect knowledge on these mountains. The Indians, having taken the great- 
est ]3ains to gain the rewards oiTered for this discovery, declared that the path 
leading from Will's Creek was infinitely preferable to any that could be made 
at any other place. Time and experience so clearly demonstrated this truth 
that the Pennsylvania traders commonly carried out their goods by Will's 
Creek. Therefore the Ohio Company, in 1753, at a considerable expense, 
opened the road. In 1754 the troops whom I had the honor to command 
greatly repaired it, as far as Cist's ])Ianlation, and in 1755 it was widened 
and c<5mple(ed by Ceneral Hraddock to within six miles of Fort Duquesne. 
.\ road that has so long been opened and so well and so often repaired must 
be much firmer and better than a new one, allowing the ground to be equally 
good. 

" But supposing it were jiracticable to make a road fnmi Raystown quite 
as good as General Braddock's. 1 ask. have we time to do it? Certainly not. 
To surmount the difficulties lo be encountered in making it over such moun- 
tains, covered with woods and rocks, would reipiire so much time as to blast 
our otherwise well-grounded hopes of striking the imjiortant stroke this 
season. 

" The favorable accounts that some give of the forage on the Raystown 
road, as being so much better than that on the other, are certainly exaggerated. 
It is well known that on lv,)th routes the rich \' illeys between the mountains 

JO I 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

abound with good forage, and that those which are stony and bushy are desti- 
tute of it. Colonel Byrd and the engineer who accompanied him confirm this 
fact. Surely the meadows on Braddock's road would greatly overbalance 
the advantage of having grass to the foot of the ridge, on the Raystown road ; 
and all agree that a more barren road is nowhere to be found than that from 
Raystown to the inhabitants, which is likewise to be considered. 

"Another principal objection made to General Braddock's road is in 
regard to the waters. But these seldom swell so much as to obstruct the 
passage. The Youghiogheny River, which is the most rapid and soonest 
filled, I have crossed with a body of troops after more than thirty days almost 
continued rain. In fine, any difficulties on this score are so trivial that they 
really are not worth mentioning. The Monongahela, the largest of all these 
rivers, may, if necessary, easily be avoided, as Mr. Frazier, the principal guide, 
informs me, by passing a defile, and even that, he says, may be shunned. 

" Again, it is said there are many defiles on this road. I grant that there 
are some, but I know of none that may not be traversed, and I should be glad 
to be informed where a road can be had over these mountains not subject to 
the same inconvenience. The shortness of the distance between Raystown 
and Loyal Hanna is used as an argument against this road, which bears in 
it something unaccountable to me, for I must beg leave to ask whether it 
requires more time or is more difficult and expensive to go one hundred and 
forty-five miles on a good road already made to our hands than to cut one 
hundred miles anew, and a great part of the way over impassable mountains. 

" That the old road is many miles nearer Winchester in Virginia and 
Fort Frederick in Maryland than the contemplated one is incontestable, and 
I will here show the distance from Carlisle by the two routes, fixing the 
different stages, some of which I have from information only, but others I 
believe to be exact: From Carlisle to Fort Duquesne by way of Raystown, 
193 miles; from Carlisle to Fort Duquesne by way of Fort Frederic and 
Cumberland, 212 miles. 

" From this computation there appears to be a difference of nineteen 
miles only. Were all the supplies necessarily to come from Carlisle, it is 
well known that the goodness of the old road is a sufficient compensation for 
the shortness of the other, as the wrecked and broken wagons there clearly 
demonstrate."- — The Olden Time, vol. i. 

For many years all government supplies for western forts, groceries, 
salt, and goods of every kind, were carried from the East on pack-horses over 
this Forbes road. One man would sometimes have under his control from 
fifty to one hundred pack-horses. A panel pack-saddle was on each horse, 
and the load for a horse was about two hundred pounds. Forts were estab- 
lished along the line of the road, and guards from the militia accompanied 
these horse-trains, guarding them by night in their "encampments" and 
protecting them by day through and over the mountains. 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

This Braddock's road and the Raystown road were nothing more than 
trails or mihtary roads, and it was not until 1784 or 1785 that the State opened 
a road from the east to the west over Forbes's military trail. 

General John Forbes died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on March 15, 

1759- 

One hundred years ago this pioneer road was crowded by carriers with 
their pack-horses going westward, laden with people, salt, iron, and merchan- 
dise. In fact, the pioneers of Lawrence, Mercer, Butler, Crawford, and 
Venango came mostly over this road. 

" The pack-horses then travelled in divisions of twelve or fifteen, going 
single-file, each horse carrying about two hundred-weight; one man pre- 
ceded and one brought up the rear of the file. Later on the carriers, to their 
bitter indignation, were supplanted by the Conestoga wagons [see p. 195], 
with their proud six-horse teams, with huge belled collars, the wagon stored 
with groceries, linens, calico, rum, molasses, and hams, four to five tons of 
load ; by law none of these wagons had less than four-inch tires on its wheels." 

From 1784 to 1834 was the stage-coach era in this country. In the year 
1802 the government started a line of coaches between Philadelphia and New 
York, carrying their own mail. The fare of each passenger, all through, was 
four dollars. Four pence per mile was charged for way passengers. One 
hundred and fifty pounds of baggage, equal to one passenger, was sent at the 
risk of persons who forwarded the same. This was continued for three years, 
clearing an average yearly profit of four thousand dollars. In 1834 the 
Postmaster-General and the government preferred railroad transportation 
where it could be had. The government required from the railroads a sched- 
ule time of thirteen miles an hour for the mails. I give, as near as I can learn, 
the pioneer, individual stage-coach mail-lines : 

" PHILADELPHIA AND PITTSBURGH MAIL STAGES, 

" A line of stages being established and now in operation to and from 
each of the above places. This line will start from John Tomlinson's Market- 
street, Philadelphia, every Friday morning, via Harrisburgh and Chambers- 
burgh, to Pittsburgh, and perform the trip in 7 days. It will also start from 
Thomas Ferree's the Fountain Inn, Water-street, Pittsburgh, every Wednes- 
day morning, same rout to Philadelphia, and perform the trip in 7 days ; 
Fare — Passengers 20 dollars and 20 lb. baggage free ; all extra baggage or 
packages, if of dimentions such as to be admitted for transportation by this 
line, to pay 12 dollars per 100 lb. the baggage or the packages to be at the 
owner's own proper risque unless especially receipted for by one of the pro- 
prietors, which cannot be done if the owner is a passenger in the stage, same 
trip. These stages are constructed to carry three passengers on a seat, and 
more never shall be admitted. 

" This line will also leave John Tomlinson's as above every Tuesday 

203 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

morning for Chambersburgh, making the trip in 2>^ days, and leave Mr. 
Hetrick's tavern in Chambersburgh, every Wednesday at noon, for Philadel- 
phia, and make the trip in 2j4 days; fare 9 dollars and 50 cents, under the 
same regulations as above. 

" The public will perceive by this establishment, that they have a direct 
conveyance from Philadelphia and Pittsburgh once a week, and from Phila- 
delphia and Chambersburgh twice a week. 

" The proprietors being determined that their conduct shall be such as 
to merit support in their line. 

" John Tomlinson & Co. 
" July srd, 1804.'' 

" PHILADELPHIA AND PITTSBURGH MAIL STAGES 

" The Proprietors 

" With pleasure now inform the public that they run their line of stages 
twice in the week to and from the above places. 

" They leave John Tomlinson's Spread Eagle, Market-street, Philadel- 
phia, every Tuesday and Friday morning, at 4 o'clock, and Thomas Ferry's 
Fountain Inn, Water-street, Pittsburgh, every Wednesday and Saturday 
morning, perform the trip in seven days. Fare each passenger 20 dollars; 14 
lbs. of baggage free ; extra baggage to pay 12^ cents per lb. This line runs 
through Lancaster, Elizabeth Town, Middle Town, Harrisburgh, Carlisle, 
Shippensburgh, Chambersburgh, McConnell's-town, Bedford, Somerset, 
Greensburgh, &c. 

" John Tomlinson & Co. 

" Nov. Qth, 1804.'' 

The first cab was used in Paris in 1823 ; the first omnibus in 1827. From 
Philadelphia via Harrisburg by road was two hundred and ninety miles ; via 
Yorktown, two hundred and eighty-eight miles. 

In the summer of 1835, the usual trip from Philadelphia to Pittsburg, by 
canal and the portage railroad, was made in three and one-half days. 

PIONEER MAIL-ROUTES AND POST-OFFICES EARLY MAIL-ROUTES AND POST- 
OFFICES — TRANSMISSION OF MONEY THROUGH MAILS AND OTHERWISE 

The pioneer post-office was established in this State under an act of 
Assembly, November 27, 1700, — viz.: 

"an ACT FOR ERECTING AND ESTABLISHING A POST OFFICE 

" Whereas, The King and the late Queen Mary, by their royal letters 
patent under the great seal of England, bearing date the seventeenth of Feb- 
ruary, which was in the year one thousand and six hundred and ninety-and- 
one, did grant to Thomas Neal, Esquire, his executors, administrators and 

204 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

assigns, full power and authority to erect, settle and establish within the 
King's colonies and plantations in America, one or more office or offices for 
receiving and dispatching of letters and packets by post, and to receive, send 
and deliver the same, under such rates and sums of money as shall be 
agreeable to the rates established by act of parliament in England, or as the 
planters and others should agree to give on the first settlement, to have, hold 
and enjoy the same for a term of twenty-one years, with and under such 
powers, limitations and conditions as in and by the said letters patent may 
more fully appear; 

"And tvhereas, The King's Postmaster General of England, at the 
request, desire and nomination of the said Thomas Neale, hath deputed An- 
drew Hamilton, Esquire, for such time and under such conditions as in his 
deputation is for that purpose mentioned, to govern and manage the said 
General Post Office for and throughout all the King's plantations and colonies 
in the main land or continent of America and the islands adjacent thereto, 
and in and by the said deputation may more fully appear : 

" And whereas, The said Andrew Hamilton hath, by and with the good 
liking and approbation of the Postmaster General of England, made applica- 
tion to the proprietarj' and governor of this province and territories and 
freemen thereof convened in general assembly, that they would ascertain and 
establish such rates and sums of money upon letters and packets going by 
post as may be an effectual encouragement for carrying on and maintaining 
a general post, and the proprietary and governor and freemen in general 
assembly met, considering that the maintaining of mutual and speedy corre- 
spondencies is very beneficial to the King and his subjects, and a great encour- 
agement to the trade, and that the same is best carried on and managed by 
public post, as well as for the preventing of inconveniences which heretofore 
have happened for want thereof, as for a certain, safe and speedy dispatch, 
carrying and recarrying of all letters and packets of letters by post to and from 
all parts and places within the continent of America and several parts of 
Europe, and that the well ordering thereof is matter of general concernment 
and of great advantage, and being willing to encourage such a public benefit : 

" (Section i.) Have therefore enacted, and be it enacted, etc.. That 
there be from henceforth one general letter office erected and established within 
the town of Philadelphia, from whence all letters and packets whatsoever may 
be with speed and expedition sent into any part of the neighboring colonies and 
plantations on the mainland and continent of America, or into any other of the 
King's kingdoms or dominions, or unto any kingdom or country beyond the 
seas ; at which said office all returns and answers may likewise be received, 
etc., etc." 

The pioneer mail-route through this wilderness was over the old State 
Road; it was established in 1805. It was carried on horseback from Belle- 
fonte to Meadville. The law declared then that " No other than a free white 

20s 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

person shall be employed to convey the mail. Fifteen minutes shall be allowed 
for opening and closing the mails at all offices where no particular time is 
specified. For every thirty minutes' delay (unavoidable accidents excepted) 
in arriving after the time specified in the contract, the contractor shall forfeit 
one dollar ; and if the delay continues until the departure of any depending 
mail, whereby the mails destined for each depending mail lose a trip, an addi- 
tional forfeiture of five dollars shall be incurred." 

The route was over the State Road to what is now the Clarion line ; from 
there over a new road to the Allegheny River or Parker's Ferry, now Parker's 
City ; up the river to Franklin, and from there to Meadville. The pioneer con- 
tractor's name was James Randolph, from Meadville. The next contractor 
was Hamilton, from Belief onte; then by Benjamin Haitshour and others, 
until the turnpike was completed, when the first stage contract was taken by 
Clark, of Perry County. He sent on his coaches by John O'Neal, and from 
that time until the present the mail has been carried through this wilderness ; 
and in 1812 we got our news from a Meadville paper, edited by Thomas 
Atkinson, called the Crawford Weekly Messenger. The nearest post-office 
west was Franklin, and east was Curwinsville. All papers were carried outside 
the mail and delivered by the mail-carrier. Our nearest post-office south was 
at Kittanning, Armstrong County, and when any one in the neighborhood 
would go there they would bring the news for all and distribute the same. 

I cannot give the pioneer contractor (route, service, and compensation) 
for mail service through Butler, Mercer, Crawford, Venango, and Warren 
Counties, Pennsylvania, because the records of the United States Post-Office 
were almost entirely destroyed by fire in the year 1836, and the earliest trace 
of the above service is found in a printed advertisement for proposals for 
carrying the mails on route No. 161, Pittsburg, by Butler, Mercer, Meadville, 
Crawford, and Le Bceuf, to Presque Isle, once a week, from April i, 1809, to 
March 31, 1811, the advertisement being dated October 31, 1808. In a sub- 
sequent advertisement this route is shown as having been changed to end at 
Erie instead of Presque Isle. It is assumed that contracts were awarded for 
the above service, but owing to the destruction of the records the facts are 
not known nor can the names of the contractors be given. 

The earliest permanent records of the Department show that a contract 
was made with J. B. Curtis & Co., of Mercer, for service from 1832 to 1836, 
on route No. 1169, Pittsburg to Erie, one hundred and twenty-eight miles, 
daily, in four-horse post-chaise, and route No. 1174, Pittsburg to Mercer, 
fifty-five miles, twice a week, the compensation being two thousand seven hun- • 
dred dollars per annum for both routes, and that a contract was made for the 
same period with Bradley Winton, of Meadville, for service on route No. 
1190, Meadville to Warren, sixty-one miles, once a week, compensation two 
hundred and thirty dollars per annum. 

In 18 1 5 the United States had three thousand post-offices. The postage 

206 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

for a single letter, composed of one piece of paper, under forty miles, eight 
cents ; over forty and under ninety miles, ten cents ; under one hundred and 
fifty miles, twelve and one-half cents; under three hundred miles, seventeen 
cents ; under five hundred miles, twenty cents ; over five hundred miles, 
twenty-five cents. The law was remodelled in 1816 and continued until 1845, 
as follows, — viz. : Letters, thirty miles, six and one-quarter cents ; over thirty 
and under eighty miles, ten cents; over eighty and under one hundred and 
fifty miles, twelve and one-half cents ; over one hundred and fifty and under 
four hundred miles, eighteen and three-quarter cents ; over four hundred 
miles, twenty-five cents. If the letter weighed an ounce, four times these 
rates were charged. Newspaper rates, in the State or under one hundred 
miles, one cent ; over one hundred miles or out of the State, one and one-half 
cents. Periodicals, from one and one-half to two, four, and six cents. A por- 
tion of the records of the Postmaster-General's office at Washington were 
destroyed by fire in the year 1836 ; but it has been ascertained that an adver- 
tisement was issued May 20, 1814, for once-a-week service on route No. 
51, Bellefonte to Franklin, Pennsylvania, from January i, 1815, to December 
31, 181 7, Jefferson Court-House being mentioned as an intermediate point; 
that on May 26, 1817, an advertisement was issued for service between the 
same points from January i, 1818, to December 31, 1819; and on May .26, 
18 19, service as above was again advertised from January i, 1820, to Decem- 
ber 31, 1823; the service during these years connecting at Franklin with 
another route to Meadville. 

Owing to the incompleteness of the records of the office at Washington, 
for the reason above stated, the names of all the contractors prior to 1824 
cannot be given ; but under advertisement of June 10, 1823, for once-a-week 
service on route No. 158, Bellefonte to Meadville, from January i, 1824, to 
December 31, 1827, contract was made with Messrs. Hayes and Bennett, of 
Franklin, Pennsylvania, at the rate of sixteen hundred dollars per annum. 

From the best information at hand, it appears that a post-office was 
established at Port Barnett, Pennsylvania, January 4, 1826, the name changed 
to Brookville, September 10, 1830; that from the date of the establishment 
of the post-office to December 31, 1839, the office was supplied by star route 
from Bellefonte to Meadville, Pennsylvania, Messrs. Bennett and Hayes 
being the contractors to December 31, 183 1, Messrs. J. and B. Bennett to 
December 31, 1835, and Mr. Benjamin Bennett to December 31, 1839. 

From January i, 1840, Brookville was supplied by route from Curwens- 
ville to Meadville, Pennsylvania (the service having been divided on Cur- 
wensville, the eastern route being from Lewistown via Bellefonte and other 
offices to Cufwensville), Mr. Jesse Rupp being the contractor to June 30, 
1844, and Mr. John Wightman to June 30, 1848. 

Prior to 1826, or the completion of the turnpike, there was no post-office 
in JeflFerson County. Not until Jefferson County had been created for twenty- 

207 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

two and the pioneers had been here for twenty-five years was a post-office 
opened. The second mail-route in Jeflferson County commenced at Kit- 
tanning, Pennsylvania, and ended in Olean, New York. The route was one 
hundred and ten miles long. It was established in 1826. Roswell P. Alford, 
of Wellsville, Ohio, was the contractor and proprietor. The mail was to be 
carried through once a week, and this was done on horseback, and the pay for 
this service was four hundred dollars a year. The following-named post- 
offices were created in this county to be supplied by the carrier on his route : 

Port Barnett, Pine Creek Township, January 4, 1826; Joseph Barnett, 
postmaster. 

Montmorenci (now Elk County), Ridgway Township, February 14, 
1826; Reuben A. Aylesworth, postmaster. 

Punxsutawney, Young Township, February 14, 1826 ; Charles R. Barclay, 
postmaster. 

Hellen (now Elk County), Ridgway Township, April, 1828; Philetus 
Clarke, postmaster. 

Brockwayville, Pine Creek Township, April 13, 1829, Alonzo Brockway, 
postmaster. 

From the information at hand it appears that an advertisement was issued 
in the year of 1825 for proposals carrying the mails on star route No. 79, 
from Bellefonte, by Karthaus, Bennett's Creek, Brockway, Gillett's, and 
Scull's, to Smithport, Pennsylvania, once in two weeks, from January i, 1826, 
to December 31, 1827; and that in 1827 an advertisement was issued for 
service on route No. 219, from Bellefonte, by Karthaus, Fox, Bennett's 
Branch, Ridgway, Gillett's, Scull's, Montmorenci, Sergeant, and Smithport, 
Pennsylvania, to Olean, New York, once a week, from January i, 1828, to 
December 31, 183 1. 

There is no record showing the contractors during the above terms. 

In the year 1831 an advertisement was issued for star route No. 1127, 
from Bellefonte, by Milesburg, Karthaus, Bennett's Branch, Fox, Kersey, 
Ridgway, Montmorenci, Clermontville, Smithport, Allegheny Bridge, Penn- 
sylvania, and Mill Grove, New York, to Olean, New York, once a week, from 
January i, 1832, to December 31, 1835, and the contract was awarded to Mr. 
James L. Gillis, of Montmorenci, with pay at the rate of six hundred and 
seventy-four dollars per annum. 

In 183s an advertisement was issued for service on route No. 1206, from 
Bellefonte, by Milesburg, Karthaus, Bennett's Branch, Caledonia, Fox, Ker- 
sey, Ridgway, Williamsville, Clermontville, Smithport, Farmers Valley, Alle- 
gheny Bridge, Pennsylvania, and Mill Grove, New York, to Olean, New York, 
once a week, from January i, 1836, to December 31, 1839, and the contract 
was awarded to Mr. Bernard Duflfey (address not given) at six hundred and 
twenty-eight dollars per annum. 

In 1839 an advertisement was issued for service on route No. 1593, from 

208 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

Bellefonte, by Milesburg, Karthaus, Caledonia, Fox, Kersey, Ridgway, Wil- 
liamsville, Clermontville, Smithport, Farmers Valley, Allegheny Bridge, Penn- 
sylvania, and Mill Grove, New York, to Olean, New York, once a week 
between Bellefonte and Smithport, and twice a week the residue of route, from 
January i, 1840, to June 30, 1844, and the contract was awarded to Mr. 
Gideon Ions (address not given) at eight hundred and forty-five dollars per 
annum. 

Like every other business in those days, the postmaster trusted his patrons, 
as the following advertisement exhibits, — viz. : 

" All persons indebted to C. J. Dunham for postage on letters or news- 
papers are notified to call and pay off their bills to James M. Steedman, or 
they may look for John Smith, as no longer indulgence can or will be given. 

" February 18, 1834." 

Barter was taken in exchange for postage. In those days uncalled-for 
letters were advertised in the papers. The pioneer advertisement of letters 
was in the Philadelphia Gazette, March 26, 1783. 

In the thirties distance governed the postage on letters up to four hun- 
dred miles and more. The price of such a letter was twenty-five cents. The 
postmaster, who was also a merchant, took produce for letters the same as 
for goods, and for postage on such a letter as named would receive two 
bushels of oats, two bushels of potatoes, four pounds of butter, or five dozen 
eggs. To pay the postage on thirty-two letters, such as named, the farmer 
would have to sell a good cow. " In early times it was death by the law to 
rob the United States mails." 

In the pioneer days, or previous to about i860, there was no bank in 
Jefferson County. There was no way to transmit funds except sending them 
with a direct messenger or by some neighbor who had business in the locality 
where you desired to send your money. An adroit way was to secure a ten-, 
fifty-, or one-hundred-dollar bill, cut it in two, send the first half in a letter, 
wait for a reply, and then enclose the other half in a letter also. The party 
receiving the halves could paste them together. The pioneer merchants, when 
going to Philadelphia for goods, put their silver Spanish dollars in belts in 
undershirts and on other parts of their persons, wherever they thought it 
could be best concealed. In this way on horseback they made journeys. 
Every horseback rider (tourist) carried a pair of leather saddle-bags. 

In the United States, July i, 1837, the post-roads were about 118,264 
miles in extent, and the annual transportation of the mails was at the rate of 
27,578,621 miles, — viz. : 

On horseback and in sulkies, 8,291,504; in stages, 17,408,820; in steam- 
boats and railroad cars, 1,878,297. 

14 209 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

The number of post-offices in the United States on July i, 1835, was 
10,770; on July I, 1836, 11,091; and on December i, 1837, 11,100. 

In the year 1837 the Postmaster-General recommended a revision of the 
present rates of postage, making a reduction of about twenty per cent., to 
take effect on July i, next. To this end he suggested the following letter 
postage : 

75 miles and under S cents. 

ISO miles and over 75 miles 10 

300 miles and over 150 miles 15 " 

600 miles and over 300 miles 20 " 

Over 600 miles 25 " 

Postage stamps were invented by James Chalmers, an Englishman, and 
first used May 6, 1840, in London. 

The first issue of the United States stamps took place in 1845, but the 
postmasters of several places had issued stamps for their own convenience 
a few years before this. These " Postmasters'," or provisional stamps, of 
course, were not good for postage after the government issue took place. 

The first stamp sold of this issue was bought by the Hon. Henry Shaw. 
This issue consisted of but two denominations, the five- and ten-cent ones, 
and were unperforated, as were the stamps of the next series, issued in 
1851-56. 

The pioneer post-office was established in this State under an act of 
Assembly, November 27, 1700. 



# 

V 




CHAPTER XI 



SUSQUEHANNA AND WATERFORD TURNPIKE — THE OLD TOLL-GATES ALONG THE 
ROUTE A FULL HISTORY OF THE OLD TURNPIKE 

In 1792 the first stone turnpike in the United States was chartered. It 
was constructed in Pennsylvania, in 1794, from Lancaster to Philadelphia. In 
this year, also, began the agitation in Pennsylvania for internal improvement. 
An agitation that resulted in a great era of State road, canal, and turnpike 
construction, encouraged and assisted by the State government. From 1792 
until 1832 the Legislature granted two hundred and twenty charters for 
turnpikes alone. 

These pikes were not all made, but there was completed within that time, 
as a result of these grants, three thousand miles of passable roads. The 
pioneer turnpike through our wilderness was the Susquehanna and Waterford 
turnpike. On February 22, 1812, a law was enacted by the Pennsylvania 
Legislature enabling the governor to incorporate a company to build a turn- 
pike from the Susquehanna River, near the mouth of Anderson Creek, in 
Clearfield County, through Jeflferson County and what is now Brookville, 
and through the town of Franklin and Meadville, to Waterford, in Erie 
County. The governor was authorized to subscribe twelve thousand dollars 
in shares toward building the road. Joseph Barnett and Peter Jones, of 
Jefiferson County, and two from each of the following counties, Erie, Craw- 
ford, Mercer, Clearfield, Venango, and Philadelphia, and two from the city 
of Philadelphia, were appointed commissioners to receive stock. Each of the 
counties just named was required to take a specified number of shares, and 
the shares were placed at twenty-five dollars each. Jefiferson County was 
required to take fifty shares. 

The war of 1812 so depressed business in this part of the State that all 
work was delayed on this thoroughfare for six years. The company com- 
menced work in 1818, and the survey was completed in October of that year. 
In November, 1818, the sections were ofifered for sale, and in November, 
1820, the road was completed to Bellefonte. 

The commissioners employed John Sloan, Esq., to make the survey and 
grade the road. They began the survey in the spring and finished it in the 
fall of 1818, a distance of one hundred and four miles. The State took one- 
third of the stock. James Harriet, of Meadville, Pennsylvania, took the con- 
tract to build the road, and he gave it out to sub-contractors. Some took 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

five miles, some ten, and so on. The bridge over the Clarion River was built 
in 1821, by Moore, from Northumberland County; it was built with a single 
arch. 

In March, 1821, an act was passed by the Legislature appropriating two 
thousand five hundred dollars for improving the road. Appointments were 
made in each county through which the road passed of people whose duty it 
was to receive the money for each county and to pay it out. Charles C. Gaskill 
and Carpenter Winslow represented Jefiferson County. 




Early barn 



Andrew Ellicott never surveyed or brushed out this turnpike. He was 
one of the commissioners for the old State Road. 

Our turnpike was one hundred and twenty-six miles long. The individual 
subscriptions to its construction were in total fifty thousand dollars, the State 
aid giving one hundred and forty thousand dollars. This was up to March, 
1822. The finishing of our link in November. 1824, completed and opened 
one continuous turnpike road from Philadelphia to Erie. Our part of this 
thoroughfare was called a " clay turnpike," and in that day was boasted of 
by the early settlers as the most convenient and easy-travelling road in the 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

United States. That, in fact, anywhere along the route over the mountain the 
horses could be treated to the finest water, and that anywhere along the route, 
too, the traveller, as well as the driver, could regale himself " with the choicest 
Monongahela whiskey bitters," clear as amber, sweet as musk, and smooth as 
oil. 

" Immediately after the completion of the turnpike mile-stones were set 
up. They were on the right-hand side of the road as one travelled east. The 
stones when first erected were white, neat, square, and well finished. On 
each stone was inscribed, ' To S. oo miles. To F. oo miles.' Of course, 
figures appeared on the stones where ciphers have been placed above. S. stood 
for Susquehanna, which is east, and F. for Franklin, which is west." 

Only the commonest goods were hauled into this country over the old 
State Road, and in the early days of the turnpike, Oliver Gregg, with his six 
horses, and Joseph Morrow, with his outfit of two teams, were regularly 
employed for many years in carrying freight from Philadelphia to this section. 
It took four weeks to reach here from Philadelphia, and the charge for freight 
was about six dollars per hundred pounds. A man by the name of Potter in 
latter years drove an outfit of five roan horses. Each team had a Conestoga 
wagon and carried from three to four tons of goods. 

THE TOLL-GATE 

With the completion of the turnpike came the toll-gate. One was erected 
every five or ten miles. 

Gangs of men were kept busy constantly repairing the pike, and they were 
individually paid at these gates. The road was then kept in good condition. 

" AN ACT TO ENABLE THE GOVERNOR OF THE COMMONWEALTH TO INCORPORATE 
A COMPANY FOR MAKING AN ARTIFICIAL ROAD, BY THE BEST AND NEAREST 
ROUTE^ FROM WATEKFORD, IN THE COUNTY OF ERIE, THROUGH MEADVILLE 
AND FRANKLIN TO THE RIVER SUSQUEHANNA, AT OR NEAR THE MOUTH 

OF Anderson's creek, in clearfield county 

" Section 13. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid,, That 
the said company, having perfected the said road, or such part thereof, from 
time to time as aforesaid, and the same being examined, approved, and li- 
censed as aforesaid, it shall and may be lawful for them to appoint such 
and so many toll-gatherers as they shall think proper, to collect and receive 
of and from all and every person and persons using the said road the tolls 
and rates hereinafter mentioned; and to stop any person riding, leading, or 
driving any horse or mule, or driving any cattle, hogs, sheep, sulkey, chair, 
chaise, phaeton, cart, wagon, wain, sleigh, sled, or other carriage of burden 
or pleasure from passing through the said gates or turnpikes until they shall 
have respectfully paid the same, — that is to say, for every space of five miles 
in length of the said road the following sum of money, and so in proportion 

213 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

for anv greater or less distance, or for any greater or less number of hogs, 
sheep, or cattle, to wit : For every score of sheep, four cents ; for every score 
of hogs, six cents ; for every score of cattle, twelve cents ; for every horse or 
mule, laden or unladen, with his rider or leader, three cents ; for every sulkey, 
chair, chaise, with one horse and two wheels, six cents ; and with two horses, 
nine cents ; for every chair, coach, phaeton, chaise, stage-wagon, coachee, or 
light wagon, with two horses and four wheels, twelve cents ; for either of the 
carriages last mentioned, with four horses, twenty cents ; for every other 
carriage of pleasure, under whatever name it may go, the like sum, according 




Port Barnett 

to the number of wheels and of horses drawing the same ; for every sleigh or 
sled, two cents for each horse drawing the same ; for every cart or wagon or 
other carnage of burden, the wheels of which do not in breadth exceed four 
mches, four cents for each horse drawing the same; for every cart or 
wagon, the wheels of which shall exceed in breadth four inches, and shall 
not exceed seven mches, three cents for each horse drawing the same ■ 
and when any such carriages as aforesaid shall be drawn by oxen or 
mules, m the whole or in part, t^^'o oxen shall be estimated as equal to one 
horse; and every ass or mule as equal to one horse, in charging the afore- 
said tolls. 

214 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

COMPLETION OF THE TURNPIKE 

The first stage line was established over the Waterford and Susquehanna 
turnpike from Bellefonte to Erie by Robert Clark, of Clark's Ferry, Penn- 
sylvania, in November, 1824. It was called a Concord line, and at first was 
a tri-weekly. The first stage-coach passed through where Brookville now is 
about November 6, 1824. In 1824 the route was completed to Philadelphia, 
through Harrisburg, and was a daily line. 

" The arrival of the stages in old times was a much more important event 
than that of the railroad trains to-day. Crowds invariably gathered at the 
public houses where the coaches stopped to obtain the latest news, and the 
passengers were of decided account for the time being. Money was so scarce 
that few persons could afiford to patronize the stages, and those who did 




1824-50 



were looked upon as fortunate beings. A short trip on the stage was as 
formidable an affair as one to Chicago or Washington is now by railroad. 
The stage-drivers were men of considerable consequence, especially in the 
villages through which they passed. They were intrusted with many delicate 
missives and valuable packages, and seldom betrayed the confidence reposed 
in them. They had great skill in handling their horses, and were the admira- 
tion and envy of the boys. 

" The traffic on the turnpike began, of course, at its completion in Novem- 

215 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

ber, 1824. It increased gradually until it reached enormous proportions. A 
quarter of a century after the road had been built it arrived at the zenith of 
its glory." 

Pedlers of all kinds, on foot and in covered wagons, travelled the pike. 
From Crawford County came the cheese and white-fish pedler. Several 
people, including the hotel-men, would each buy a whole cheese. ■ 

The pioneer inns or taverns in Jeflferson County along this highway 
were about six in number. Five of the six were built of hewed logs, — viz. : 
one where Reynoldsville is; the Packer Inn, near Peter Baum's; one near 
Campbell Run (Ghost Hollow) ; the William Vastbinder Inn; James Winter's 
tavern, at Roseville; and John McAnulty's inn, kept by Alexander Powers, 
where Corsica is now located. The Port Barnett Inn at this time was a 
" frame structure," as its picture represents. 

The old State Road was opened and finished to Holeman's Ferry, on the 
Allegheny River, in 1804. This point is now in Forest County. There was 
no provision made to complete the road from there to Waterford by the Legis- 
lature imtil 1810. At that time Clarion County was not organized, and the 
part of the State Road that now lies in Clarion County was then in Venango 
County. 




CHAPTER XII 



PIONEER AGRICULTURE HOW THE FARMERS IN THE OLDEN TIME HAD TO 

MAKE SHIFT THE PIONEER HOMES PIONEER FOOD — PIONEER EVENING 

FROLICS TREES, SNAKES, AND REPTILES SOLDIERS OF l8l2 PIONEER 

LEGAL RELATIONS OF MAN AND WIFE — EARLY AND PIONEER MUSIC THE 

FIRST SCREW FACTORY — POPULATION OF THE STATE AND OF THE UNITED 
STATES 

For convenience in description I may here state that the soil of North- 
western Pennsylvania was covered in sections with two different growths of 
timber, — viz. : sections of oak and other hard-wood timber, with underbrush 
and saplings. Some of these sections were called the barrens. The other 
sections were covered with a dense and heavy growth of pine, hemlock, poplar, 
cucumber, bass, ash, sugar, and beech, with saplings, down timber, and under- 
brush in great profusion. The mode of clearing in these different sections 
was not the same. In the first-mentioned or sparsely covered section the pre- 
liminary work was grubbing. The saplings and underbrush had to be grubbed 
up and out with a mattock and piled in brush-piles. One man could usually 
grub an acre in four days, or you could let this at a job for two dollars per acre 
and board. The standing timber then was usually girdled or deadened, and 
allowed to fall down in the crops from year to year, to be chopped and rolled 
in heaps every spring. In the dense or heavy-growth timber the preliminary 
work was underbrushing, cutting the saplings close to the ground, piling the 
brush or not, as the necessity of the case seemed to require. The second step 
was the cutting of all down timber into lengths of ten or fifteen feet. After 
this came the cutting of all standing timber, which, too, had to be brushed 
and cut into twelve- or fifteen-foot lengths. This latter work was always a 
winter's job for the farmer, and the buds on these falling trees made excellent 
browsing feed for his cattle. In the spring-time, after the brush had become 
thoroughly dry, and in a dry time, a good burn of the brush, if possible, was 
obtained. The next part of the process was logging, usually after harvest. 
This required the labor of five men and a team of oxen, — one driver for the 
oxen and two men at each end of the log-heap. Neighbors would " morrow" 
with each other, and on such occasions each neighbor usually brought his 
own handspike. This was a round pole, usually made of beech-, dog-, or 
iron-wood, without any iron on or in it, about six feet long, and sharpened at 
the large end. Logs were rolled on the pile over skids. Sometimes the cattle 

217 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

were made to draw or roll the logs on the heap. These piles were then burned, 
and the soil was ready for the drag or the triangular harrow. I have looked 
like a negro many a time while working at this logging. Then money was 
scarce, labor plenty and cheap, and amusements few, hence grubbing, chop- 
ping, and logging " frolics" were frequent and popular. For each frolic one 
or more two-gallon jugs of whiskey were indispensable. A jolly good time 
was had, as well as a good dinner and supper, and every one in the neighbor- 
hood expected an invitation. 

As there was a fence law then, the ground had to be fenced, according 
to this law, " horse-high, bull-strong, and hog-tight." The effort made by 
the pioneer to obey this law was in four ways, — viz. : First, by slashing trees 
and placing brush upon the trees ; second, by using the logs from the clearing 
for the purpose of a fence ; third, by a post- and rail-fence, built straight, and 
the end of each rail sharpened and fastened in a mortised post ; fourth, by the 
common rail- or worm-fence. These rails were made of ash, hickory, chestnut, 
linn, and pine. The usual price for making rails per hundred was fifty cents 
with board. I have made them by contract at that price myself. 

" I seem to see the low rail-fence, 

That worming onward mile on mile, 
Was redolent with pungent scents 

Of sassafras and camomile. 
Within a fence-rail tall and bare, 
The saucy bluebird nested there; 
'Twas there the largest berries grew, 
As every barefoot urchin knew ! 
And swiftly, shyly creeping through 

The tangled vine and the bramble dense. 
The mingled sunshine and the dew, 

The Bob- White perched atop the fence; 
And, flinging toil and care away, 
He piped and lilted all the day." 

In 1799, when Joseph Hutchison lived in what is now Jefferson County, 
wheat sold in this section of the State for two dollars and fifty cents per bushel! 
flour for eighteen dollars per barrel, corn two dollars, oats one dollar and fifty 
cents, and potatoes one dollar and fifty cents per bushel. 

Wheat was brought into Massachusetts by the first settlers. Rye was also 
brought by them and cultivated. Our Indian corn was first successfully raised 
m 1608, on the James River, Virginia. Oats were brought by the first settlers 
and sown in 1602. Buckwheat, a native of Asia, was taken to Europe in the 
twelfth century, and was grown in Pennsylvania in 1702. Barley was intro- 
duced by permanent settlers and is a native of Egypt. 

Columbus brought domestic animals in his second voyage, in 1493 He 
brought a bull, several cows, and an assortment of horses. In 1609 sheep 
goats, swme, and fowls were brought. 

218 



HISTORY or NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

The early axes were called pole-axes. They were rude, clumsy, and 
heavy, with a single bit. About 1815 an improved Yankee single-bit axe was 
introduced, but it, too, was heavy and clumsy. In about 1825 the present 
double-bitted axe came to be occasionally used. 

I have never seen the wooden plough, but I have seen them with the iron 
shoe point and coulter. These were still in use in the late twenties. I have 
driven an ox-team to the drag or triangular harrow. This was the principal 
implement used in seeding ground, both before and after the introduction of 
the shovel-plough in 1843. 

" The greatest improvement ever made on ploughs, in this or any other 
country, was made by Charles Newbold, of Burlington, New Jersey, and pat- 
ented in 1797. The mould-board, share, landslide, and point were all cast 
together in one solid piece. The plough was all cast iron except the beam and 
handles. The importance of this invention was so great that it attracted the 




Clearing land 



attention of plough-makers and scientific men all over the country. Thomas 
Jefferson (afterwards President of the United States) wrote a treatise on 
ploughs, with a particular reference to the Newbold plough. He described 
the requisite form of the mould-board, according to scientific principles, and 
calculated the proper form and curvature of the mould-board to lessen the 
friction and lighten the draught. 

" The Newbold plough would have been nearly perfect had it not been 
for one serious defect. When the point, for instance, was worn out, which 
would soon be accomplished, the plough was ruined and had to be thrown 
aside. This defect, however, was happily remedied by Jethro Wood, who 
was the first to cast the plough in sections, so that the parts most exposed to 
wear could be replaced from the same pattern, by which means the cast-iron 
plough became a complete success. His plough was patented in 1819, twenty- 

219 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

two years after Newbold's patent. It is a wonder that so long a time should 
have elapsed before any one thought of this improvement. These two men 
did more for the farmers in relation to ploughs than any others before their 
time or since." 

In harvest-time the grain was first reaped with a sickle; then came the 
cradle. In my boyhood all the lying grain thrown down by storms was still 
reaped with a sickle. I carry the evidence of this on my fingers. A day's 
work was about two acres. McCormick perfected his reaper in 1848. Grain 
was usually thrashed by a flail, though some tramped it out with horses. 
By the flail ten bushels of wheat or twenty bushels of oats was a good day's 
work. Men who travelled around thrashing on shares with the flail charged 
every tenth bushel, including board. The tramping was done by horses and 
by farmers who had good or extra bam floors. The sheaves were laid in a 
circle, a man stood in the middle of the circle to turn up and over the straw 
as needed, and then, with a boy to ride one horse and lead another, the 
" tramping" in this circuit commenced. This was hard work for the boy ; it 
made him tired and sore where he sat down. To prevent dizziness, the travel 
on the circuit was frequently reversed. One man, a boy, and two horses could 
tramp out in this way in a day about fifteen bushels of wheat or thirty-five 
bushels of oats. Grain was cleaned by means of two hand-riddles, one coarse 
and one fine. These riddles had no iron or steel about them, the bottom of 
each being made of wooden splints woven in. The riddles were two and one- 
half feet in diameter and the rings about four inches wide. Three men were 
required to clean the grain,— one to shake the riddle, while two others, one at 
each end of a tow sheet, doubled, swayed the sheet to and fro in front of the 
man shaking the riddle. These three men in this way could clean about ten or 
fifteen bushels of wheat in a day. This process was practised in the twenties. 
Windmills came into use about 1825. For many years there were extremely 
few wagons and but poor roads on which to use them. The early vehicles 
were the prongs of a tree, a sled made of saplings, called a " pung," and 
ox-carts. In fact, about all the work was done with oxen, and in driving his 
cattle the old settler would halloo with all his might and swear profusely. 
This profanity and hallooing was thought to be necessary. The pioneer sled 
was made with heavy single runners, the " bob"-sled being a later innovation. 
It might be proper to say here that the first agricultural society in America 
was organized in Pennsylvania in 1784. 

" HAYING IN THE OLDEN TIME 

" Haying in the old days was a much more formidable yearly under- 
taking than It is to modern farmers. Before the era of labor-saving haying 
implements farmers began the work of haying early in the day and season, and 
toiled hard until both were far spent. Human muscle was strained to exert 
a force equal to the then unused horse-power. On large farms many ' hands' 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

were required. Haying was an event of importance in the farmer's year. It 
made great demands upon his time, strength, and pocket-book. His best 
helpers were engaged long in advance, sometimes a whole season. Ability to 
handle a scythe well entitled a man to respect while haying lasted. Experts 
took as much pains with a scythe as with a razor. Boys of to-day have never 
seen such a sight as a dozen stalwart men mowing a dozen-acre field. 

" On the first day of haying, almost before the sun was up, the men 
would be at the field ready to begin. The question to be settled at the very 
outset was as to which man should cut the ' double.' This was the first swath 
to be cut down and back through the centre of the field. 

" The boys brought up the rear in the line of mowers. Their scythes were 
hung well ' in,' to cut a narrow swath. They were told to stand up straight 
when mowing, point in, keep the heel of the scythe down, and point out 
evenly, so as not to leave ' hog-troughs' on the meadow when the hay was 
raked up. Impatient of these admonitions, they thought they could mow 
pretty well, and looked ambitiously forward to a time when they might cut 
the ' double.' " 

HOW THE PIONEER BOUGHT HIS LAND 

In 1825 Charles C. Gaskill, who lived in Punxsutawney and was agent 
for the Holland Land Company, advertised one hundred and fifty thousand 
acres of land for sale, in lots to suit purchasers, and on the following terms, — 
viz. : All purchasing land for two dollars per acre must pay ten dollars down, 
the balance in eight annual payments, with interest on and after the third 
year. Those buying at one dollar and seventy-five cents per acre,' one-fourth 
in hand, the balance in eight annual payments, with interest on and after 
third payment. Those paying one dollar and fifty cents per acre, one-half 
down, and the remainder in payments as above stated. All land was bought 
and sold on a simple article of agreement. 

DRESS OF MEN 

Moccasin shoes, buckskin breeches, blue broadcloth coats and brass but- 
tons, fawn-skin vests, roundabouts, and woollen warmuses, leather or woollen 
gallowses, coon- or seal-skin caps in winter with chip or oat-straw hats for 
summer. Every neighborhood had then usually one itinerant shoemaker and 
tailor, who periodically visited cabins and made up shoes or clothes as required. 
All material had to be furnished, and these itinerant mechanics worked for fifty 
cents a day and board. Corduroy pants and corduroy overalls were common. 

The old pioneer in winter often wore a coon-skin cap, coon-skin gloves, 
buckskin breeches, leggins, and a wolf-skin hunting-shirt. 

The warmuses, breeches, and hunting-shirts of the men, the linsey petti- 
coats, dresses, and bed-gowns of the women, were all hung in some corner of 
the cabin on wooden pegs. To some extent this was a display of pioneer 
wealth. 

221 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

DRESS OF WOMEN 

Home-made woollen cloth, tow, linen, linsey-woolsey, etc. I have seen 
" barefoot girls with cheek of tan" walk three or four miles to church, when, 
on nearing the church, they would step into the woods to put on a pair of 
shoes they carried with them. I could name some of these who are livmg 
to-day. A woman who could buy eight or ten yards of calico for a dress at a 
dollar a yard put on queenly airs. Every married woman of any refinement 
then wore day-caps and night-caps. The bonnets were beaver, gimp, leg- 
horn, and sun-bonnets. For shoes, women usually went barefoot m the 
summer, and in the winter covered their feet with moccasins, calf-skin shoes, 
buffalo overshoes, and shoe-packs. 




Large spinning-wheel 

Linen and tow cloth were made from flax. The seed was sown in the 
early spring and ripened about August. It was harvested by " pulling." This 
was generally done by a " pulling frolic" of young people pulling it out by the 
root. It was then tied in little sheaves and permitted to dry, hauled in, and 
thrashed for the seed. Then the straw was watered and rotted by laying it 
on the ground out of doors. Then the straw was again dried and " broken in 
the flax-break," after which it was again tied up in little bundles and then 
scutched with a wooden knife. This scutching was a frolic job too, and a 
dirty one. Then it was hackled. This hackling process separated the linen 
part from the tow. The rest of the process consisted of spinning, weaving, 
and dyeing. Linen cloth sold for about twenty-four cents a yard, tow cloth 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

for about twenty cents a yard. Weaving originated with the Chinese. It 
took a thousand years for the art to reach Europe. 

In the State Constitutional Convention of 1837 to amend the constitu- 
tion I find the occupation of the members elected to that body to be as follows, 
— viz.: Farmers, 51; iron-masters, 3 ; manufacturer,!; mechanics, 2 ; house- 
carpenters, 2 ; brick-maker, i ; paper-maker, i ; printers, 2 ; potter, i ; judge, 
i; attorneys, 41 ; doctors, 12; editor, i ; merchants, 9; surveyors, 4; clerks, 
4; total membership, 136. From this it will be seen that farmers received 
proper recognition in the earlier elections. 




Flax-brake 

THE PIONEER HOMES OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" This is the land our fathers loved. 

The homestead which they toiled to win. 
This is the ground whereon they moved, 
And here are the graves they slumber in." 

The home of the pioneer was a log cabin, one story high, chinked and 
daubed, having a fireplace in one end, with a chimney built of sticks and mud, 
and in one corner always stood a big wooden poker to turn back-logs or punch 
the fire. These cabins were usually small, but some were perhaps twenty by 
thirty feet, with a hole cut in two logs for a single window, — oiled paper 
being used for glass. For Brussels carpet they had puncheon floors, and a 
clapboard roof held down by weight poles to protect them from the storm. 
Wooden pegs were driven in the logs for the wardrobe, the rifle, and the 
powder-horn. Wooden benches and stools were a luxury upon which to rest 
or sit while feasting on mush and milk, buckwheat cakes, hog and hominy. 

Hospitality in this log cabin was simple, hearty, and unbounded. Whis- 

223 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

key was pure, cheap, and plenty, and was lavished bountifully on each and all 
social occasions. Every settler had his jug or barrel. It was the drink of 
drinks at all merry-makings, grubbings, loggings, choppings, house-warm- 
ings, and weddings. A drink of whiskey was always proffered to the visitor 
or traveller who chanced to call or spend a night in these log cabins. 

Puncheon boards or planks were made from a log of straight grain and 
clear of knots, and of the proper length, which was split into parts and the 
face of each part smoothed with a broadaxe. The split parts had to be all 
started at the same time, with wedges at the end of the log, each wedge being 
struck alternately with a maul until all the parts were separated. 

The furniture for the table of the pioneer log cabins consisted of pewter 
dishes, plates, and spoons, or wooden bowls, plates, and noggins. If noggins 
were scarce, gourds and hard-shelled squashes answered for drinking-cups. 




Spinning-wheel, reel, and bed-warmer 

The iron pots, knives and forks, along with the salt and iron, were brought 
to the wilderness on pack-horses over Meade's trail or over the Milesburjr and 
Le Bceuf State road. 

Some of these log cabins near Brookville were still occupied in the forties 
I have been m many of them in my childhood. In proof of the smallness of 
the early cabm I reproduce the testimony on oath of Thomas Lucas, Esq. in 
the followmg celebrated ejectment case,— viz. : 

" EJECTMENT 

" In the Court of Common Pleas of Jefferson County. Ejectment for 
sixteen hundred acres of land in Pine Creek township. Elijah Heath vs 
Joshua Knap, ct al. 

224 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" i6th September, 1841, a jury was called per minets. The plaintiff after 
having opened his case in support of the issue, gave in evidence as follows: 

" Thomas Lucas. — Masons have in the surveys about twelve acres of land, 
a cabin house, and stable thereon. They live near the line of the town tract, 
the town tract takes in the apple-trees; think they claim on some improve- 
ment. Some of this improvement I think is thirty-five years old, — this was 
the Mason claim. The first improvement was made in 1802; I call it the 
Pickering survey, only an interference. Jacob Mason has been living oflf 
and on since 1802, — two small cabin houses on the interference, one fifteen or 
sixteen feet square, the other very small, twelve or fifteen feet, — a log stable." 

At this time and before it many of these cabins were lighted by means of 
a half window, — viz. : one window-sash, containing from four to six panes 
of seven by nine glass. Up to and even at this date (1841) the usual light 




Ox-yoke and tin lantern 

at night in these cabins was the old iron lamp, something like the miner wears 
in his hat, or else a dish containing refuse grease, with a rag in it. Each 
smoked and gave a dismal light, yet women cooked, spun, and sewed, and 
men read the few books they had as best they could. The aroma from this 
refuse grease was simply horrible. The cabin was daily swept with a split 
broom made of hickory. The hinges and latches of these cabins were made 
of wood. The latch on the door was raised from without by means of a 
buckskin string. At night, as a means of safety, the string was " pulled in," 
and this locked the door. As a further mark of refinement each cabin was 
generally guarded by from two to six worthless dogs. Cabins, as a rule, 
were built one story and a half high, and the space between the loose floor 
and roof of the half-story was used as a sleeping room. I have many a time 
climbed up an outside ladder, fastened to and near the chimney, to a half- 
story in a cabin, and slept on a bed of straw on the floor. 

IS 225 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

Of pests in and around the old cabin, the house-fly, the bed-bug, and 
the louse were the most common on the inside ; the gnat, the wood-tick, and 
the horse-fly on the outside. The horse-fly is the most cruel and bloodthirsty 
of the entire family. He is armed with a most formidable weapon, which 
consists of four lancets, so sharp and strong that they will penetrate leather. 
He makes his appearance in June. The female is armed with six lancets, 
with which she bleeds both cattle and horses, and even human beings. It was 
a constant fight for life with man, cattle, and horses against the gnat, the tick, 
and the horse-fly, and if it had not been for the protection of what were called 
"gnat-fires," life could not have been sustained, or at least it would have 
been unendurable. The only thing to dispel these outside pests was to clear 
land and let in the sunshine. As an all-around pest in the cabin and out, day 
and night, there was the flea. 

PIONEER FOOD WHAT THE PIONEER COULD HAVE, OR DID HAVE, TO EAT 

Buckwheat cakes, mush, and souens, corn-mush and milk, rye-mush and 
bread, hominy, potatoes, turnips, wild onions or wramps, wild meats, wild 
birds, fish, and wild fruits. 

In and before 1830 flour was three dollars per barrel ; beef, three cents 
a pound ; venison ham, one and one-half cents a pound ; chickens, six cents a 
piece ; butter, six and eight cents a pound ; and eggs, six cents a dozen. 

In the early cooking everything was boiled and baked ; this was healthy. 
There was no " rare fad," with its injurious results. The common dishes 
served were wheat- and rye-bread, wheat- and rye-mush, Indian corn-pone, 
cakes, and mush, sweet and buttermilk boiled and thickened, doughnuts, and 
baked pot-pies. Soda was made by burning corncobs. We are indebted to 
the heathen Chinese for the art of bread-making from wheat, 1998 B.C. 

Buckwheat souens was a great pioneer dish. It was made in this wise : 
Mix your buckwheat flour and water in the morning; add to this enough 
yeast to make the batter light; then let it stand until evening, or until the 
batter is real sour. Now stir this batter into boiling water and boil until it 
is thoroughly cooked, like corn-mush. Eat hot or cold with milk or cream. 
Buckwheat is a native of Asia. 

MEATS 

Hogs, bears, elks, deer, rabbits, squirrels, and woodchucks. 

The saddles or hams of the deer were salted by the pioneer, then smoked 
and dried. This was a great luxury, and could be kept all the year through. 

The late Dr. Clarke wrote, " Wild game, such as elks, deer, bears, tur- 
keys, and partridges, were numerous, and for many years constituted an 
important part of the animal food of the early settlers in this wilderness. 
Wolves and panthers came in for a share of this game, until they, too, became 
game for the hunters by the public and legal offer of bounties to be paid for 
their scalps, or rather for their ears, for a perfect pair of ears was required 

226 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

to secure the bounty. All these have become nearly extinct. The sturdy elk 
no longer roves over the hills or sips ' salty sweetness' from the licks. The 
peculiar voice of the stately strutting vi^ild turkey is heard no more. The 
howl of the wolf and the panther's cry no longer alarm the traveller as he 
winds his way over the hills or through the valleys, and the flocks are now 
permitted to rest in peace. Even the wild deer is now seldom seen, and a nice 
venison steak rarely gives its delicious aroma among the shining plate of 
modern well-set tables." 

FISH 

Pike, bass, catfish, suckers, sunfish, horn-chubs, mountain trout, and eels. 

The old settler shot, seined, hooked with a line, and gigged his fish. Gig- 
ging was done at night by means of a light made from burning fagots of 
pitch-pine. It usually required three to do this gigging, whether " wading" 
or in a canoe, — one to carry the light ahead, one to gig, and one to care for 
the fish. 

BIRDS 

Pheasants were plentiful, and enlivened the forests with their drum- 
ming. The waters and woods were full of wild ducks, geese, pigeons, and 
turkeys. 

The most remarkable bird in America was the wild turkey. It is the 
original turkey, and is the stock from which the tame turkeys sprung. In 
the wild state it was to be found in the wooded lands east of the Rocky Moun- 
tains. In pioneer times it was called gobbler or Bubly Jock by the whites, and 
Oo-coo-coo by the Indians. Our pioneer hunters could mimic or imitate the 
gobbling of a turkey, and this deceptive ruse was greatly practised to excite 
the curiosity and bring the bird within shooting distance. The last wild 
turkey in Jefferson County was killed in the seventies near the town of False 
Creek. 

To obtain a turkey roast when needed, the pioneer sometimes built in the 
woods a pen of round logs and covered it with brush. Whole flocks of turkeys 
were sometimes caught in these pens, built in this wise : 

" First, a narrow ditch, about six feet long and two feet deep, was dug. 
Over this trench the pen was built, leaving a few feet of the channel outside 
of the enclosure. The end of the part of the trench enclosed was usually 
about the middle of the pen. Over the ditch, near the wall of the pen, boards 
were laid. The pen was made tight enough to hold a turkey and covered 
with poles. Then corn was scattered about on the inside, and the ditch outside 
baited with the same grain. Sometimes straw was also scattered about in 
the pen. Then the trap was ready for its victims. The turkeys came to the 
pen, began to pick up the corn, and followed the trench within. When they 
had eaten enough, the birds tried to get out by walking around the pen, look- 
ing up all the time. They would cross the ditch on the boards, and never think 
of going to the opening in the ground at the centre of the pen. When the 

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HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

hunter found his game he had only to crawl into the pen through the trench 
and kill the birds." 

In the fall turkeys became very fat, and gobblers were sometimes captured 
for Christmas in this way weighing over twenty pounds. 

FRUITS 

Apples, crab-apples, wild, red, and yellow plums, blackberries, huckle- 
berries, elderberries, wild strawberries, choke-cherries, and wild gooseberries ; 
and there were 

SWEETS 

Domestic and wild honey, maple-sugar, maple-molasses, and corn-cob 
molasses. Bee-trees were numerous, and would frequently yield from eight 
to twelve gallons of excellent honey. These trees had to be cut in the night 
by the light of pitch-pine fagots. 

DRINK 

Metheglin, a drink made from honey; whiskey, small beer, rye coffee, 
butterrhilk, and fern, sassafras, sage, and mint teas. 

Distilled liquor was discovered in India and introduced into Europe in 
1150. The name whiskey was given to it by the Scotch, who made it from 
barley. 

To fully illustrate the pioneer days I quote from the " History of Craw- 
ford County, Pennsylvania," — viz. : 

" The habits of the pioneers were of a simplicity and purity in conform- 
ance to their surroundings and belongings. The men were engaged in the 
herculean labor, day after day, of enlarging the little patch of sunshine about 
their homes, cutting away the forest, burning off the brush and debris, pre- 
paring the soil, planting, tending, harvesting, caring for the few animals 
which they brought with them or soon procured, and in hunting. While they 
were engaged in the heavy labor of the field and forest, or following the deer, 
or seeking other game, their helpmeets were busied with their household 
duties, providing for the day and for the winter coming on, cooking, making 
clothes, spinning, and weaving. They were fitted by nature and experience to 
be the consorts of the brave men who first came into the western wilderness. 
They were heroic in their endurance of hardship and privation and loneliness. 

" Their industry was well directed and unceasing. Woman's work then, 
like man's, was performed under disadvantages, which have been removed in 
later years. She had not only the common household duties to perform, but 
many others. She not only made the clothing, but the fabric for it. That old, 
old occupation of spinning and weaving, with which woman's name has 
been associated in all history, and of which the modern world knows nothing, 
except through the stories of those who are great-grandmothers now,— that 

228 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

old occupation of spinning and weaving which seems surrounded with a 
glamour of romance as we look back to it through tradition and poetry, and 
which always conjures up thoughts of the graces and virtues of the dames and 
damsels of a generation that is gone, — that old, old occupation of spinning 
and weaving was the chief industry of the pioneer woman. Every cabin 
sounded with the softly whirring wheel and the rhythmic thud of the loom. 
The woman of pioneer times was like the woman described by Solomon : 
' She seeketh wool and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands ; she 
layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.' 

" Almost every article of clothing, all of the cloth in use in the old log 
cabins, was the product of the patient woman-weaver's toil. She spun the flax 
and wove the cloth for shirts, pantaloons, frocks, sheets, and blankets. The 
linen and the wool, the ' linsey-woolsey' woven by the housewife, formed all 
of the material for the clothing of both men and women, except such articles 
as were made of skins. The men commonly wore the hunting-shirt, a kind of 
loose frock reaching half-way down the figure, open before, and so wide as to 
lap over a foot or more upon the chest. This generally had a cape, which was 
often fringed with a ravelled piece of cloth of a different color from that 
which composed the garment. The bosom of the hunting-shirt answered as 
a pouch, in which could be carried the various articles that the hunter or 
woodsman would need. It was always worn belted, and made out of coarse 
linen, or linsey, or of dressed deer-skin, according to the fancy of the wearer. 
Breeches were made of heavy cloth or of deer-skin, and were often worn with 
leggings of the same material or of some kind of leather, while the feet were 
most usually encased in moccasins, which were easily and quickly made, 
though they needed frequent mending. The deer-skin breeches or drawers 
were very comfortable when dry, but when they became wet were very cold 
to the limbs, and the next time they were put on were almost as stiff as if 
made of wood. Hats or caps were made of the various native furs. The 
women were clothed in linsey petticoats, coarse shoes and stockings, and 
wore buckskin gloves or mittens when any protection was required for the 
hands. All of the wearing apparel, like that of the men, was made with a 
' view to being serviceable and comfortable, and all was of home manufacture. 
Other articles and finer ones were sometimes worn, but they had been brought 
from former homes, and were usually relics handed down from parents to 
children. Jewelry was not common, but occasionally some ornament was dis- 
played. In the cabins of the more cultivated pioneers were usually a few 
books, and the long winter evenings were spent in poring over these well- 
thumbed volumes by the light of the great log-fire, in knitting, mending, curing 
furs, or some similar occupation. 

"As the settlement increased, the sense of loneliness and isolation was 
dispelled, the asperities of life were softened and its amenities multiplied; 
social gatherings became more numerous and more enjoyable. The log-roll- 

229 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

ings, harvestings, and husking-frolics for the men, and apple-butter-making 
and the quilting-parties for the women, furnished frequfent occasions for social 
intercourse. The early settlers took much pleasure and pride in rifle-shooting, 
and as they were accustomed to the use of the gun as a means often of obtain- 
ing a subsistence, and relied upon it as a weapon of defence, they exhibited 
considerable skill. 

" Foot-racing, wrestling, and jumping matches were common. The 
jumping matches consisted of the ' single jump,' backward jump, high jump, 
three jumps, and the running hop, step, and jump. 

"A wedding was the event of most importance in the sparsely settled new 
country. The young people had every inducement to marry, and generally 
did so as soon as able to provide for themselves. When a marriage was to 
be celebrated, all the neighborhood turned out. It was customary to have the 
ceremony performed before dinner, and in order tobe in time, the groom and 
his attendants usually started from his father's house in the morning for 
that of the bride. All went on horseback, riding in single file along the narrow 
trail. Arriving at the cabin of the bride's parents, the ceremony would be 
performed, and after that dinner served. This would be a substantial back- 
woods feast, of beef, pork, fowls, and bear- or deer-meat, with such vegetables 
as could be procured. The greatest hilarity prevailed during the meal. After 
it was over, the dancing began, and was usually kept up till the next morn- 
ing, though the newly made husband and wife were, as a general thing, put to 
bed in the most approved fashion and with considerable formality in the mid- 
dle of the evening's hilarity. The tall young men, when they went on the 
floor to dance, had to take their places with care between the logs that sup- 
ported the loft-floor, or they were in danger of bumping their heads. The 
figures of the dances were three- and four-hand reels, or square sets and jigs. 
The commencement was always a square four, which was followed by ' jigging 
it off,' or what is sometimes called a ' cut-out jig.' The ' settlement' of a 
young couple was thought to be thoroughly and generously made when the 
neighbors assembled and raised a cabin for them." 



PIONEER PRICES FOR SKILLED AND UNSKILLED LABOR 
For Carpenters. For Day Laborers. 

'f°° 70 cents per day 1800 62 cents per day 

'f° $109 pet" day 1810 82 cents per day 

'f °- •„ ^13 per day 1820 90 cents per day 

'^^°~'°f 1.40 per day 1840-1860 $1.00 (about) per day 

1850-1860 1.50 per day 

Previous to 1840, a day's work was not limited by hours. It was by law 
and custom from " sunrise to sunset," or whatever the employer exacted In 
1840, however. President Van Buren signed the pioneer executive order fixing 

230 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

a day's work in the Washington Navy- Yard at ten hours per day. It took a 
great and protracted struggle for years and years to secure the general adop- 
tion of the ten-hour system. 

PIONEER EVENING FROLICS, SOCIAL PARTIES, PLAYS, AND AMUSEMENTS — HOW 
THE PIONEER AND EARLY SETTLERS MADE THEIR LOG CABINS MERRY WITH 
SIMPLE, PRIMITIVE ENJOYMENTS 

In the pioneer days newspapers were few, dear, printed on coarse paper, 
and small. Books were scarce, only occasional preaching, no public lectures, 
and but few public meetings, excepting the annual Fourth of July celebration, 
when all the patriots assembled to hear the Declaration of Independence read. 
The pioneer and his family had to have fun. The common saying of that 
day was that " all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." As a rule, out- 
side of the villages, everybody lived in log cabins, and were bound together 
by mutual dependence and acts of neighborly kindness. At every cabin the 
latch-string was always out. The young ladies of the " upper ten" learned 
music, but it was the humming of to " knit and spin ;" their piano was a 
loom, their sunshade a broom, and their novel a Bible. A young gentleman 
or lady was then as proud of his or her new suit, woven by a sister or a 
mother on her own loom, as proud could be, and these new suits or " best 
clothes" were always worn to evening frolics. Social parties among the 
young were called " kissing parties," because in all the plays, either as a 
penalty or as part of the play, all the girls who joined in the amusement had 
to be kissed by some one of the boys. The girls, of course, objected to the 
kissing; but then they were gentle, pretty, and witty, and the sweetest and 
best girls the world ever knew. This was true, for I attended these parties 
and kissed some girls myself. To the boys and girls of that period — 

" The earth was like a garden then, 

And life seemed like a show, 
For the air was rife with fragrance, 

The sky was all rainbow, 
And the heart was warm and joyous ; 

Each lad had native grace, 
Sly Cupid planted blushes then 

On every virgin's face." 

The plays were nearly all musical and vocal, and the boys lived and 
played them in the "pleasures of hope," while usually there sat in the 
corner of the cabin fireplace a grandad or a grandma smoking a stone or 
clay pipe, lighted with a live coal from the wood-fire, living and smoking in 
the " pleasures of memory." 

The plays were conducted somewhat in this way : 

A popular play was for all the persons present to join hands and form 

231 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

a ring, with a dude of that time, in shirt of check and bear-greased hair, in 
the centre. Then they circled round and round the centre person, singing,- 

" King William was King James's son, 
And of that royal race he sprung; 
He wore a star upon his breast, 
To show that he was royal best. 
Go choose your east, go choose your west, 
Go choose the one that you like best; 
If he's not here to take your part. 
Go choose another with all your heart." 

The boy in the centre then chose a lady from the circle, and she stepped 
into the ring with him. Then the circling was resumed, and all sang to the 
parties inside, — 

" Down on this carpet you must kneel, 

Just as the grass grows in the field; 

Salute your bride with kisses sweet, 

And then rise up upon your feet." 

The play went on in this manner until all the girls present were kissed. 
Another popular play was to form a ring. A young lady would step 
into the circle, and all parties would join hands and sing, — 

" There's a lily in the garden 
For you, young man ; 
There's a lily in the garden, 
Go pluck it if you can," etc. 

The lady then selects a boy from the circle, who walks into the ring with her. 
He then kisses her and she goes out, when the rest all sing, — 

" There he stands, that great big booby, 
Who he is I do not know; 
Who will take him for his beauty? 
Let her answer, yes or no." 

This play goes on in this way until all the girls have been kissed. 
Another favorite play was : 

" Oats, peas, beans, and barley grows ; 
None so well as the farmer knows , 
How oats, peas, beans, and barley grows ; 
Thus the farmer sows his seed. 
Thus he stands to take his ease; 
He stamps his foot and claps his hands, 
And turns around to view his lands," etc. 
232 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

Another great favorite was : 

" Oh, sister Phoebe, how merry were we 
The night we sat under the juniper-tree, 

The juniper-tree, I, oh. 
Take this hat on your head, keep your head warm. 
And take a sweet kiss, it will do you no harm, 

But a great deal of good, I know," etc. 



Another was : 



' If I had as many lives 
As Solomon had wives, 

I'd be as old as Adam ; 
So rise to your feet 
And kiss the first you meet, 

Your humble servant, madam.'' 



Another was : 



" It's raining, it's hailing, it's cold, stormy weather ; 
In comes the farmer drinking of his cider. 
He's going a-reaping, he wants a binder, 
I've lost my true love, where shall I find her." 

A live play was called " hurly-burly." " Two went round and gave each 
one, secretly, something to do. The girl was to pull a young man's hair; 
another to tweak an ear or nose, or trip some one, etc. When all had been 
told what to do, the master of ceremonies cried out, ' Hurly-burly.' Every 
one sprang up and hastened to do as instructed. This created a mixed scene 
of a ludicrous character, and was most properly named 'hurly-burly.' " 

TREES, SNAKES, AND REPTILES 

Our forests were originally covered by a heavy growth of timber-trees 
of various kinds. Pine and hemlock predominated. Chestnut and oak grew 
in some localities. Birch, sugar-maple, ash, and hickory occupied a wide 
range. Birch- and cherry-trees were numerous, and linnwood-, cucumber-, 
and poplar-trees grew on many of the hill-sides, and butternut, sycamore, 
black ash, and elm on the low grounds. 

In all, about one hundred varieties of trees grew here. These forests 
have become the prey of the woodman's axe. There has been no voice 
raised effectively to restrain the destruction, wanton as it has been, of the 
best specimens of the pine which the eye of man ever saw. The growth 
of hundreds of years felled to the ground, scarified, hauled to the streams, 
tumbled in, and floated away to the south and east and west for the paltry 
pittance of ten cents a foot! Oh, that there could have been some power to 
restrain the grasping, wasteful, avaricious cupidity of man, of some voice of 
thunder crying, " Woodman, woodman, spare that tree ! That old familiar 

233 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

forest-tree, whose glory and renown has spread over land and sea, and 
wouldst thou hack it down ?" 

But they are gone, all gone from the mountain's brow. The hands, also, 
that commenced the destruction are now mouldering into dust, thus exem- 
plifying the law of nature, that growth is rapidly followed by decay, indi- 
cating a common destiny and bringing a uniform result. And such are we ; 
it is our lot thus to die and be forgotten. 

Reptiles and snakes were very numerous. The early pioneer had to 
contend against the non-poisonous and poisonous snakes. The non-poisonous 
were the spotted adder, blacksnake, the green-, the garter-, the water-, and 




Banded rattlesnake {Crotaln^ Hot ridus) 

the house-snake. The blacksnake sometimes attained a length of six and 
eight feet. But dens of vicious rattlesnakes existed in every locality. In 
the vicinity of Brookville there was one at Puckerty, several on the north 
fork, one at Iowa Mills, and legions of rattlers on Mill Creek. The dens 
had to be visited by bold, hardy men annually every spring to kill and destroy 
these reptiles as they emerged in the sun from their dens. Hvmdreds had to 
be destroyed at each den every spring. This was necessary as a means of 
safety for both man and beast. Of copperheads, there were but a few dens 
in Jefiferson County, and these in the extreme south and southwest, — viz. : 
in Perry Township, in Beaver Township, on Beaver Run ; and two or three 

234 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

dens in Porter Township, on the head-waters of Pine Run,— viz. : Nye's 
Branch and Lost LLill. Occasionally one was found in Brookville. 

The copperhead is hazel-brown on the back and flesh-colored on the 
belly. On each side there are from fifteen to twenty-six chestnut blotches or 
bands, that somewhat resemble an inverted Y. His head is brighter and 
almost copper-colored on top, and everywhere over his back are found very 
fine dark points. The sides of his head are cream-colored. The dividing line 
between the flesh of the side and the copper of the top passes through the 
upper edge of the head, in front of the eye, and involves three-fourths of 
the orbit. The line is very distinct. He cannot climb, and lives on lizards, 




Copperhead (.-Irtrisfrodcn Coutoi/rij:] 



mice, frogs, and small birds, summers mostly on low, moist ground, but 
winters on ridges. 

He is commonly found wherever the rattler is, but he does not live quite 
so far north in onr wilderness. He has a variety of names, — upland moccasin, 
chunkhead, deaf-adder, and pilot-snake among the rest. It is agreed that he is 
a much more vicious brute than the rattlesnake. He is more easily irritated and 
is quicker in his movements. It is said that he will even follow up a victim 
for a second blow. On the other hand, his bite is very much less dangerous 
for a variety of reasons. In the first place, he is no more than three feet 
long, and his fangs are considerably shorter than those of a rattler of the 

235 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

same size, while his strength is less, and the blow, therefore, less effective. 
So he cannot inflict as deep a wound nor inject so much venom. The chances 
of his getting the venom directly into a large vein are proportionately less. 

Rattlesnakes, copperheads, and other large snakes do most of their 
travelling in the night. " Snakes, it appears, are extremely fastidious, every 
species being limited to one or two articles of diet, and preferring to starve 
rather than eat anything else apparently quite as toothsome and suitable. Indi- 
vidual snakes, too, show strange prejudices in the matter of diet, so that it 
is necessary in every case to find out what the snake's peculiarities are before 
feeding him." 

Rattlesnakes eat rabbits, birds, mice, rats, etc., and live on barren, rocky, 
or on huckleberry land. They like to bathe, drink, and live in the sunshine. 
This, too, makes them avoid ridgy, heavily timbered land. They can live 
a year without food. 

The bigger the reptile, of course, the more poison it has. Further- 
more, it is to be remembered that of all American serpents the rattlesnake 
is the most dangerous, the copperhead less so, and the water-moccasin least. 
It is a fact that the poisonous snakes are proof against their own venom. 
That this is true has been demonstrated repeatedly by inoculating such 
serpents with the poisonous secretion from their salivary glands. It is 
believed that there exists in the blood of the venomous snake some agent 
similar to the poison itself, and that the presence of this toxic principle is 
accountable for the immunity exhibited. 

One safety from the snakes to the pioneer and his family was the great 
number of razor-back hogs. These animals were great snake-hunters, being 
very fond of them. 

RATTLESNAKES FIRST KILL THEIR PREY, THEN SWALLOW IT WHOLE 

The rattlesnake and copperhead are not found anywhere but in America. 
The rattler belongs to the viper family. There are twelve species and thirteen 
varieties. They vary in size and color, one variety being red, white, and green 
spotted and black. A rattle is formed at each renewal of the skin, and as the 
skin may be renewed more than once a year, rattles do not indicate the exact 
age. They live to a ripe old age, and have sometimes as many as thirty 
rattles. In the natural state the rattler sheds his skin but once a year, but in 
confinement he can be forced to shed the skin two or three times annually by 
giving him warm baths and keeping him in a warm place. Rattlers feed two 
or three times a year, but drink water freely and often, and like a horse. 
Rattlers are indifferent climbers of trees, are fond of music, and do not chase 
a retreating animal that has escaped their " strike." 

The rattlesnake of Northwestern Pennsylvania is the Crotalus horridus, 
or North American species, and is black and yellow spotted, called banded or 
timber. They have no feet or legs, but have double reproductive organs, both 

236 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

the male and female. Their scent is very acute, and by scent they find food 
and their mates. Our snake attains the length of five feet, but usually only 
four and one-half feet, and they inhabit the barren, rocky portions of the 
northwest, formerly in immense numbers, but of late years they are not so 
plentiful. 

Dr. Ferd. Hoffman, of our town, celebrated as a snake-charmer, brought 
a rattlesnake into our store one day, in a little box covered with wire screen. 
The snake was small, being only thirty inches long and having seven rattles. 
Desiring to see the reptile eat, and knowing that they will not eat anything 
but what they kill themselves, we conceived the idea of furnishing his king- 




Rattlesnake Pete catchinj^ banded rattlers in Venango Couiit>' 



ship a repast. Mr. Robert Scofield went out and captured a large field-mouse 
(not mole) and brought it in, and, in the presence of myself, Scofield, Albert 
Gooder, 'Squire McLaughlin and brother, and Frank Arthurs, dropped it into 
the box under the screen. The box was fourteen inches long and seven inches 
wide. The snake, being lively, immediately struck the mouse back of the 
head. The mouse gave a little squeak of terror and ran fourteen inches, then 
staggered fourteen inches, the length of the box, then was apparently seized 
with spinal paralysis, for it had to draw its hind limbs with its front feet to 
a corner of the box. It then raised up and fell dead on its back. After 

237 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

striking the mouse, the snake paid no attention to anything until the mouse 
dropped over dead, then his snakeship wakened up and apparently smelled 
(examined) the mouse all over. Satisfied it was healthy and good food, the 
snake caught the mouse by the nose and pulled it out of the corner. After 




Dr. KlmtI. Hoffman, of Cruukxillf 

this was done, the snake commenced the process of swallowing in this manner, 
— viz.: He opened his jaws and took the head of the mouse in one swallow, 
pulling alternately by the hooks in the upper and lower jaw, thus forcing the 
mouse downward, taking an occasional rest, swallowing and resting six times 
in the process. He rattled vigorously three times during this procedure. It 
is said they rattle only when in fear or in danger. This rattling of his must 

238 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

have been a notice to us that he was dining, and to stand back. The rattler 
is the most intelHgent of all snake kind. 

I am informed by my friend Dr. Hoffman, of Brookville, Pennsylvania, 
that the rattlesnake is possessed of both intelligence and a memory ; that he 
can be domesticated, and in that state become quite affectionate and fond of 
his master, and that snakes thus domesticated will vie and dispute with each 
other in manifestations of affection to and for their master. They have their 
dislikes also. He also informs me that rattlesnakes are unlike in disposition,^ 
some are cross and ugly, while others are docile and pleasant. 

He also informs me that the rattlesnake can be trained to perform tricks, 
as he has thus trained them himself and made them proficient in numerous 
acrobatic tricks, such as suspending a number by the head of one on his thumb, 
the forming of a suspension chain or bridge, and many other tricks too 
numerous to relate. 

To my personal knowledge, he has educated or trained the rattlers in 
numbers to perform in the manner indicated here, and without removing, in 
a single instance, any poisonous tooth or sac. These trained rattlers will 
fight any stranger the moment he presents himself ; but if the master or their 
acquaintance presents himself, the rattlers will at once recognize him, and to 
him be kind, docile, and affectionate. A rattler matures at the age of two 
years, and at three is full grown. 

"All the different species of rattlesnakes are provided with two small 
sacs, each of which contains a minute quantity of poison, and communicates, 
by means of a short excretory duct, with the canal in the fang on each side 
of the upper jaw. It is enclosed by a bony framework, situated external to 
the proper jaw, and is under the control of appropriate muscles, the action 
of which aids materially in expelling its contents. The fangs, situated just 
at the verge of the mouth, are very long, sharp, and crooked, like the claws 
of a cat, and are naturally retracted and concealed in a fold of integument; 
but, when the animal is irritated, are capable of being instantly raised, and 
darted forward with great force into the skin, followed by an emission of 
poison. The snake, then, does 'not bite, but strikes, making a punctured 
wound. 

" The poison of the rattlesnake is a thin, semi-transparent, albuminous 
fluid, of a yellowish color, with, occasionally, a tinge of green, and is deadly. 
When a bite is not fatal it is because of no poison in sack, broken teeth, or 
failure to puncture the skin or clothing. It is fatal in from ten minutes to 
two hours. 

" The quantity of venom contained in the poison-bag does not generally 
exceed a teaspoonful ; but it accumulates when the animal is inactive, and Dr. 
Mitchell had a snake which, on one occasion, ejected fifteen drops, its fang 
not having been used for several weeks. It is peculiarly acrid and deadly in 
hot weather and during the procreating season. In winter and early spring 

239 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

the reptile is in a torpid condition, and the poison is then diminished in quan- 
tity, and unusually thick, although not less virulent." 

Nearly every variety of the snake family is oviparous. The eggs are 
oblong. The blacksnake lays a large number of eggs, about the size of your 
thumb, in July or August. During this breeding season blacksnakes are 
bold, and will attack persons with great courage if their nests are approached. 
The attack is with activity and by direct assault. Their bite is harmless, and 
the blacksnake is a great tree-climber. The rattlesnake is viviparous, and 




Peter Gruber, now of Rochester, New York, late of Oil City, Penns>l\'ania, talcing ihe poison frotn a diamond- 
back rattler for the author 

has from five to twenty young in July or August, each eight to fourteen inches 
long and as thick as a lead-pencil. They are ready to fight, and eat a mouse 
or young squirrel every fifth day. The male is the slimmest. The blacksnake 
and rattlesnake are mortal enemies. They always fight when they meet, the 
blacksnake usually kills the other, his activity enabling him to tear the rattler 
to pieces. He coils himself around the head and tail of the rattler, and then 
pulls him in two. Snakes have what phrenologists call love of home. A 

240 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

rattler will travel forty miles to winter in his ancestral den. Snakes have ears, 
but no apparent external opening, the orifice being covered with a scale. They 
usuall) travel in mated pairs ; if you kill one there is another near by. Usually 
when one snake rattles in a den they all commence. The sickening odor of the 
den is due to urination when excited. Rattlesnake oil is in great repute as a 
medicine for external application. 

The copperheads have their young alive, and never more than seven at 
a birth. The young are ready to fight from birth. 

" Rattlesnake Pete," * of Rochester, New York, has been bitten by rattlers 
over eighteen times, and, as a result, has passed a good deal of his time in 
hospitals, swathed in bandages, and enduring the most agonizing pains. 




'■ Whenever 1 am bitten now," he remarked to me, " I never suck the wound. 
If there were any slight superficial wound in the mouth, such as a scratch, 
the venom would thus get into the system and would perhaps prove fatal. 
Directly I have been bitten I cut the flesh around the puncture and make 
another wound between the injured spot and the heart with a sharp knife, 
which I always carry with me in case of such an emergency. Into these two 
self-inflicted wounds I then inject permanganate of potash, which has the 
effect of nullifying the serpent's venom." 

The snapping-turtle, the mud-turtle, and the diamond-back terrapin ex- 
isted in countless numbers in the swamps and around the streams, and formed 
a part of the Indian's food. The tree-toad, the common toad, common frog, 



* Peter Gruber, who was born and raised near Oil City, Pennsylvania. 
i6 241 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

lizard, and water-lizard lived here before the pioneers took possession of the 
land. 

The tools of the pioneer were the axe, six-inch auger, the drawing-knife, 
the shaving-knife, a broadaxe, and a cross-cut saw. These were " all used 
in the erecting of his shelters." The dexterity of the pioneer in the " sleight" 
and use of the axe was remarkable, indeed marvellous. He used it in clear- 
ing land, making fences, chopping firewood, cutting paths and roads, building 
cabins, bridges, and corduroy. In fact, in all work and hunting, in travelling 
by land, in canoeing and rafting on the water, the axe was ever the friend 
and companion of the pioneer. 

The civilized man in his first undertakings was farmer, carpenter, mason, 
merchant, and manufacturer — complete, though primitive, in the individual. 
But he was a farmer first and foremost, and used the other avocations merely 
as incidentals to the first and chief employment. Less than half a century 
has elapsed since the spinning-wheel and the loom were common and neces- 
sary in the home. 

SOLDIERS OF l8l2 WHO PASSED THROUGH THIS WILDERNESS TO FIGHT GREAT 

BRITAIN AN INTERESTING ACCOUNT OF THE PENNSYLVANIA MILITIA 

WHICH MARCHED OVER THE OLD STATE ROAD THROUGH BROOKVILLE AND 
WITHIN TWO MILES OF WHERE REYNOLDSVILLE NOW STANDS, NEAR WHERE 
CLARION BOROUGH NOW IS, WHILE ON ITS WAY TO ERIE 

George Washington never passed through any portion of Jefferson 
County with soldiers ; neither did Colonel Bird, who was stationed at Fort 
Augusta in 1756 ; neither was there a " road brushed out for the purpose 
of transferring troops to Erie." In 1814, early in the spring, a detachment 
of soldiers, under command of Major William McClelland, travelled through 
our county, over the old State Road (Bald Eagle's Nest and Le Boeuf Road) 
to Erie. They encamped at Soldiers' Run, in what is now Winslow Town- 
ship, rested at Port Barnett for four days, and encamped over night at the 
" four-mile" spring, on what is now the Afton farm. Elijah M. Graham was 
impressed with his two " pack-horses" into their service, and was taken as 
far as French Creek, now in Venango County. 

Joseph B. Graham gave me these facts in regard to McClelland. 

These soldiers were Pennsylvania volunteers and drafted men, and were 
from Franklin County. Major McClelland, with his officers and men, passed 
through where Brookville now is, over the old Milesburg and Waterford Road. 
Three detachments of troops left Franklin County during the years 1812-14 
at three different times, — one by way of Pittsburg, one by way of Baltimore, 
and the last one through this wilderness. All of these troops in these three 
detachments were under the supervision of the brigade inspector. Major 
McClelland. 

T quote from an early history of Franklin County, Pennsylvania: 

242 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" In the early part of the year 1814, the general government having made 
a call upon the State of Pennsylvania for more troops, Governor Simon Snyder, 
about the beginning of February of that year, ordered a draft for one thousand 
men from the counties of York, Adams, Franklin, and Cumberland, Cumber- 
land County to raise five hundred men and the other counties the balance. 
The quota of Franklin County was ordered to assemble at Loudon on the 
1st of March, 1814. What was its exact number I have not been able to 
ascertain. 

•'At that time Captain Samuel Dunn, of Path Valley, had a small volun- 
teer company under his command, numbering about forty men. These, I am 
informed, volunteered to go as part of the quota of the county, and were 
accepted. Drafts were then made to furnish the balance of the quota, and 
one full company of drafted men^ under the command of Captain Samuel 
Gordon, of Waynesburg, and one partial company, under command of Cap- 
tain Jacob Stake, of Lurgan Township, were organized, and assembled at 
Loudon in pursuance of the orders of the governor. There the command of 
the detachment was assumed by Major William McClelland, brigade inspector 
of the county, who conducted it to Erie. It moved from Loudon on the 4th 
of March, and was twenty-eight days in reaching Erie. According to Major 
McClelland's report on file in the auditor-general's office at Harrisburg, it 
was composed of one major, three captains, five lieutenants, two ensigns, and 
two hundred and twenty-one privates. 

" Captain Jacob Stake lived .along the foot of the mountains, between 
Roxbury and Strasburg. He went as captain of a company of drafted men 
as far as Erie, at which place his company was merged into those of Captains 
Dunn and Gordon, as the commissions of those officers antedated his commis- 
sion, and there were not men enough in their companies to fill them up to the 
required complement." 

Upon the arrival of these troops at Erie, and after their organization 
into companies, they were put into the Fifth Regiment of the Pennsylvania 
troops, commanded by Colonel James Fenton, of that regiment. James Wood, 
of Greencastle, was major, and Thomas Poe, of Antrim Township, adjutant, 
the whole army being under the command of Major General Jacob Brown, a 
gallant soldier. 

Adjutant Poe is reputed to have been a gallant officer, one to whom fear 
was unknown. On one occasion he quelled a mutiny among the men in camp, 
unaided by any other person. The mutineers afterwards declared that they 
saw death in his eyes when he gave them the command to " return to quarters." 
He fell mortally wounded at the battle of Chippewa, July 5, 1814, and died 
shortly afterwards. 

These soldiers did valiant service against the British. They fought in 
the desperate battles of Chippewa and Lundy's Lane, on July 5 and 25 of the 

year 1814. 

24.'5 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

WARS OF THE UNITED STATES 1775-1865 

IVar of the Revolution. — April 19, 1775, to April 11, 1783. Regulars, 
130,711; militia and volunteers, 164,080; total, 309,781. Number of Ameri- 
cans killed, wounded, and missing, 12,861. Navy, vessels, 4; Americans 
killed, 912. 

Daniel F. Bakeman, the last survivor of the war of the Revolution, died 
in Freedom, Cattaraugus County, New York, April 5, 1869, aged one hundred 
and nine years. 

War with France. — July 9, 1798, to September 30, 1800. Entirely naval. 
Men, 4593. Americans won every battle. 

War with Tripoli. — June 10, 1801, to June 4, 1805. Naval. Men, 3330. 
Americans won every battle. 

War of 1812. — June 18, 1812, to February 17, 1815. Regulars, 85,000; 
militia and volunteers, 471,622; total, 576,622. Americans killed, wounded, 
and missing, 5614. American navy had twelve vessels at outbreak of war. 
England, one thousand. Fifteen battles were fought on the sea. Americans 
victorious in twelve. Americans killed, 1233. 

War with Mexico. — April 12, 1846, to July 4, 1848: Regulars, 30,954; 
militia and volunteers, 72),77^', total, 112,230. 

Americans killed, 4,197; Americans killed in navy, 140; killed from 
Jefferson County, i. 

The United States has always been successful in every war, on land 
or sea. 

A British statesman made the declaration at the commencement of hos- 
tilities in 1812, " that the assembled navy of America could not lay siege to 
an English sloop of war." I guess the siege was pretty well laid. 

The aggregate number of men raised by the government for the 
Union armies from 1861 to 1865 reached over two million six hundred 
and eighty-eight thousand soldiers, and if you add to this the Confederate 
forces, you will have a grand aggregate of four million of men, at once 
the largest force ever put on a war footing in any one country in any age of 
the world. 

The United States paid during the Mexican War, to privates in in- 
fantry, seven dollars per month, and to privates in cavalry, eight dollars 
per month. 

In the war of the Rebellion the United States government paid, until 
August, 1 86 1, to privates of cavalry, twelve dollars per month, and to privates 
of infantry, eleven dollars per month. From August 6, 1861, until January 
1, 1862, the pay of privates was thirteen dollars per month. Specie payment 
was suspended by the nation, January i, 1862, and all payments to soldiers 
after that were in depreciated currency. From January i, 1862, the pay of 
all privates in currency was thirteen dollars per month, until May i, 1864, 
equal to about eight dollars in gold. From May i, 1864, to the close of the 

244 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

war in 1865, the pay of all private soldiers was sixteen dollars per month in 
currency, equal to about ten dollars per month in gold. 

Over fourteen million lives were lost from 1800 to 1900 in war. 

COST OF PENSIONS 

" Of the amount that has been expended for pensions since the foundation 
of the government, $70,000,000 was on account of the war of the Revolu- 
tion, $45,326,774.16 on account of service in the war of 1812, $6,980,896.93 
on account of service in the Indian wars, $35,162,130.35 on account of ser- 
vice in the Mexican war, $8,586,200.09 on account of the war with Spain, 
$2,287,924.99 on account of the regular establishment, and $3,011,373,235.13 
on account of the War of the Rebellion." 

AN OUTLINE OF THE PIONEER LEGAL RELATIONS OF MAN AND WIFE 

Up to and later than 1843, Pennsylvania was under the common law 
system of England. Under this law the wife had no legal separate existence. 
The husband had the right to whip her, and only in the event of her com- 
mitting crimes had she a separate existence from her husband. But if the 
crime was committed in her husband's presence, she was then presumed not 
guilty. Her condition was legally little, if any, better than that of a slave. 

Under the common law, husband and wife were considered as one person, 
and on this principle all their civil duties and relations rested. 

The wife could not sue in her own name, but only through her husband. 
If she suffered wrong in her person or property, she could, with her hus- 
band's aid and assistance, prosecute, but the husband had to be the plaintiff. 
For crimes without any presumed coercion of her husband, the wife could 
be prosecuted and punished, and for these misdemeanors the punishments were 
severe. 

The wife could make no contract with her husband. The husband and 
she could make a contract through the agency of trustees for the wife, the 
wife, though, being still under the protection of her husband. 

All contracts made between husband and wife before marriage were void 
after the ceremony. The husband could in no wise convey lands or realty 
to his wife, only and except through a trustee. A husband at death could 
bequeath real estate to his wife. 

Marriage gave the husband all right and title to his wife's property, 
whether real or personal, but he then became liable for all her debts and con- 
tracts, even those that were made before marriage, and after marriage he 
was so liable, except for " superfluities and extravagances." 

If the wife died before the husband and left no children, the husband and 
his heirs inherited her real estate. But if there were children, the husband 
remained in possession of her land during the lifetime of the wife, and at 
his death the land went to the wife's heirs. 

24s 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

All debts due to the wife became after marriage the property of the hus- 
band, who became invested with power to sue on bond, note, or any other 
obligation, to his own and exclusive use. The powers of discharge and assign- 
ment and change of securities were, of course, involved in the leading prin- 
ciple. If the husband died before the recovery of the money, or any change 
in the securities, the wife became entitled to these debts, etc., in her own right. 
All personal property of the wife, such as money, goods, movables, and stocks, 
became absolutely the property of the husband upon marriage, and at his death 
went to his heirs. 

Property could be given to a wife by deed of marriage settlement. 

Property could be settled on the wife after marriage by the husband, pro- 
vided he was solvent at the time and the transfer not made with a view to 
defraud. 

The wife could not sell her land, but any real estate settled upon her to 
a trustee she could bequeath. 

The husband and wife could not be witnesses against each other in civil 
or criminal cases where the testimony could in the least favor or criminate 
either. One exception only existed to this rule, and that was that " the per- 
sonal safety or the life of the wife gave her permission to testify for her 
protection." For further information, see my " Recollections." 

J 

A PIONEER SONG THAT WAS SUNG IN EVERY FAMILY 

" Old Grimes is dead, that good old man. 
We ne'er shall see him more; 
He used to wear a long black coat 
All buttoned down before. 

" His heart was open as the day. 
His feelings all were true ; 
His hair was some inclined to gray, 
He wore it in a queue. 

" Whene'er he heard the voice of pain 
His breast with pity burned; 
The large round head upon his cane 
From ivory was turned. 

" Kind words he ever had for all ; 
He knew no base design; 
His eyes were dark and rather small, 
His nose was aquiline. 

" He lived in peace with all mankind, 
In friendship he was true; 
His coat had pocket-holes behind, 
His pantaloons were blue. 
246 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" Unharmed, the sin which earth pollutes 
He passed securely o'er, 
And never wore a pair of boots 
For thirty years or more. 

" But good Old Grimes is now at rest. 
Nor fears misfortune's frown; 
He wore a double-breasted vest. 
The stripes ran up and down. 

" He modest merit sought to find, 
And pay it its desert : 
He had no malice in his mind. 
No ruffles on his shirt. 

" His neighbors he did not abuse. 
Was sociable and gay; 
He wore large buckles on his shoes. 
And changed them every day. 

" His knowledge hid from public gaze 
He did not bring to view, 
Nor make a noise town-meeting days. 
As many people do. 

" His worldly goods he never threw 
In trust to fortune's chances, 
But lived (as all his brothers do) 
In easy circumstances. 

" Thus undisturbed by anxious cares 
His peaceful moments ran ; 
And everybody said he was 
A fine old gentleman." 

— Albert G. Greene. 

EARLY AND PIONEER MUSIC PIONEER MUSIC-SCHOOLS AND PIONEER SINGING- 
MASTERS IN JEFFERSON COUNTY 

" Oh, tell me the tales I delighted to hear, 
Long, long ago, long, long ago ; 
Oh, sing me the old songs so full of cheer. 
Long, long ago, long, long ago." 

I. D. Hughes, of Punxsutawney, informs me that the first music-book 
he bought was Wyeth's " Repository of Sacred Music," second edition. I 
have seen this book myself, but a later edition (the fifth), published in 1820. 
Mr. Hughes says that Joseph Thompson, of Dowlingville, was the pioneer 
" singing-master" in Jefferson County, and that he sang from Wakefield's 
" Harp," second edition. He used a tuning-fork to sound the pitches, and 
accompanied his vocal instruction with violin music. 

247 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

George James was an early " master," and used the same book as Thomp- 
son. These two taught in the early thirties. I. D. Hughes taught in 1840 
and used the " Missouri Harmony." This was a collection of psalm and hymn 
tunes and anthems, and was published by Morgan & Co., Cincinnati, Ohio. 
The first tune in this old " Harmony," or " buckwheat" note-book, was 

" Primrose" : 

" Salvation, oh, the joyful sound, 
'Tis pleasure to our ears, 
A sovereign balm for every wound, 
A cordial for our fears." 

On the second page was " Old Hundred," and on the same page 
" Canaan" : 

" On Jordan's stormy banks I stand. 
And cast a wishful eye 
To Canaan's fair and happy land. 
Where my possessions lie." 

The dear old pioneers who used to delight in these sweet melodies have 
nearly all crossed this Jordan, and are now doubtless singing " Harwell" : 

" Hark ! ten thousand harps and voices 
Sound the note of praise above; 
Jesus reigns, and heaven rejoices; 
Jesus reigns, the God of love." 

Rev. George M. Slaysman, of Punxsutawney, was the pioneer teacher of 
round notes — the do ra me's — in the county. Judge William P. Jenks was 
also an early instructor in these notes. 

We talk about progress, rapid transit, and electricity, but modern music- 
teachers have failed to improve on the melody of those old pioneer tunes, 
" that seemed like echoes from a heavenly choir ; echoes that seemed to have 
increased power every time the pearly gates opened to admit some sainted 
father or mother." 

" God sent these singers upon earth 
With songs of sadness and of mirth. 
That they might touch the hearts of men 
And bring them back to Heaven again." 

The pioneer organ used in church music was in Boston in 1714. 

A PIONEER SONG FOR THE SUGAR-TROUGH CRADLE 
DR. watts' cradle HYMN 

" Hush, my babe, lie still and slumber, 
Holy angels guard thy bed; 
Heavenly blessings, without number. 
Gently falling on thy head. 
248 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" Sleep, my babe, thy food and raiment, 
House and home thy friends provide. 
All without thy care or payment. 
All thy wants are well supplied. 

" How much better thou'rt attended 
Than the Son of God could be, 
When from heaven He descended 
And became a child like thee. 

" Soft and easy is thy cradle, 

Coarse and hard thy Saviour lay, 
When His birthplace was a stable. 
And his softest bed was hay. 

" Blessed babe ! what glorious features. 
Spotless, fair, divinely bright ! 
Must He dwell with brutal creatures? 
How could angels bear the sight? 

" Was there nothing but a manger 
Wicked sinners could afford 
To receive the heavenly stranger? 
Did they thus affront the Lord? 

" Soft, my child, I did not chide thee. 
Though my song may sound too hard: 
'Tis thy mother sits beside thee, 
And her arms shall be thy guard. 

" Yet, to read the shameful story, 
How the Jews abused their King; 
How they served the Lord of Glory, 
Makes me angry while I sing. 

" See the kinder shepherds round Him, 
Telling wonders from the sky; 
There they sought Him, there they found Him, 
With his virgin mother by. 

" See the lovely babe a-dressing, 
Lovely infant ! how He smiled ! 
When He wept. His mother's blessing 
Soothed and hushed the holy child. 

" Lo ! He slumbers in a manger 
Where the horned oxen fed ! 
Peace, my darling, here's no danger, 
Here's no ox about thy bed. 

" 'Twas to save thee, child, from dying. 
Save my dear from burning flame, 
Bitter groans, and endless crying, 
That thy blest Redeemer came. 
249 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" May'st thou live to know and fear Him, 
Trust and love Him all thy days ! 
Then go dvifell forever near Him, 
See His face and sing His praise. 

" I could give thee thousand kisses 
Hoping what J most desire; 
Not a mother's fondest wishes 
Can to greater joys aspire.'' 

MAPLE-SUGAR INDUSTRY 

One of the pioneer industries in this wilderness was maple-sugar-making. 
The sugar season commenced either in the last of February or the first of 
March. In any event, at this time the manufacturer always visited his camp 
to see or set things in order. The camp was a small cabin made of logs, 
covered usually with clapboards, and open at one end. The fireplace or crane 
and hooks were made in this way: Before the opening in the cabin four 
wooden forks were deeply set in the ground, and on these forks was suspended 
a strong pole. On this pole was hung the hook of a limb, with a pin in the 
lower end to hang the kettle on. An average camp had about three hundred 
trees, and it required six kettles, averaging about twenty-two gallons each, 
to boil the water from that many trees. The trees were tapped in various 
ways, — viz. : First, with a three-quarter-inch auger, one or two inches deep. 
In this hole was put a round spile about eighteen inches long, made of sumach 
or whittled pine, two spiles to a tree. The later way was by cutting a hollow 
notch in the tree and putting the spile below with a gouge. This spile was 
made of pine or some soft wood. When a boy I lived about five years with 
Joseph and James McCurdy, in what is now Washington Township, and the 
latter method of opening trees was practised by them. Indeed, all I say here 
about this industry I learned from and while with them. At the camp there 
were always from one to three storage-troughs made of cucumber or poplar, 
and each trough held from ten barrels upward. Three hundred trees required 
a storage of thirty barrels and steady boiling with six kettles. The small 
troughs under the trees were made of pine and cucumber and held from three 
to six gallons. We hauled the water to the storage-troughs with one horse 
and a kind of " pung," the barrel being kept in its place by plank just far 
enough apart to hold it tight. In the fireplace there was a large back log and 
one a little smaller in front. The fire was kept up late and early with smaller 
wood split in lengths of about three feet. We boiled the water into a thick 
syrup, then strained it through a woollen cloth while hot into the syrup- 
barrel. When it had settled, and before putting it on to " sugar oflf," we 
strained it the second time. During this sugaring we skimmed the scum off 
with a tin skimmer and clarified the syrup in the kettle with eggs well beaten 
in sweet milk. This " sugaring off" was always done in cloudy or cold days, 
when the trees wouldn't run " sap." One barrel of sugar-water from a sugar- 

250 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

tree, in the beginning of the season, would make from five to seven pounds 
of sugar. The sugar was always made during the first of the season. The 
molasses was made at the last of the season, or else it would turn to 
sugar in a very few days. The sugar was made in cakes, or " stirred off" 
in a granulated condition, and sold in the market for from six and a quarter 
to twelve and a half cents a pound. In " sugaring ofif," the syrup had to be 
frequently sampled by dropping some of it in a tin of cold water, and if the 
molasses formed a " thread" that was brittle like glass, it was fit to stir. 
T was good at sampling, and always anxious to try the syrup, as James 




James McCurdy. Bom January, iSlfi ; died October, 1902 

McCurdy. if he were living, could substantiate. In truth, 1 was never ver) 
hungry during sugar-making, as I had a continual feast during this season of 
hot syrup, treacle, and sugar. 

Skill and attention were both necessary in " sugaring ofif," for if the syrup 
was taken ofif too soon the sugar was wet and tough, and if left on too long, 
the sugar was burnt and bitter. Time has evoluted this industry from North- 
western Pennsylvania. 

Sugar is supposed to have been first used by the Hebrews. 

253 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

Joseph McCurdy came to Beechwoods, Jefferson County, from Indiana 
County in the year 1834. He was accompanied by his mother, two brothers, 
Robert and James, and three sisters, Martha, Margaret, who married John 
Millen, and Betsy, who married Andrew Hunter. They settled where James 
McCurdy lived before his recent death. As a man, he was very quiet and 
unassuming, without show or pretence. He was faithful as a Christian, firm 
and decided as an elder in maintaining discipline in the church, and mild in 
enforcing the same ; a firm believer in the doctrines of the Presbyterian 
Church as being the truths taught by the Word of God. These truths he un- 
flinchingly maintained and defended through life. He did much for the 
church, and after his death his mantle fell upon his brother James. 

HOW THE PIONEER BUILT HIS CABIN 

" On the first day the material was gathered at the point for erection, the 
clapboards for the roof and the puncheons for the floors were made. The 
puncheons were made from trees eighteen inches in diameter, and had the 
face hewed by a broad-axe. They were in length one-half that of the floor. 

" In the morning of the next day the neighbors collected for the raising. 
The first thing to be done was the election of four corner-men, whose business 
it was to notch and place the logs. The rest of the company furnished them 
with the timbers. In the mean time the boards and puncheons were collect- 
ing for the floor and roof, so that by the time the cabin was a few rounds 
high, the sleepers and floor began to be laid. The door was made by sawing 
or cutting the logs in one side, so as to make an opening about three feet 
wide. This opening was secured by upright pieces of timber, about three 
inches thick, through which holes were bored into the ends of the logs, for 
the purpose of pinning them fast. A similar opening, but wider, was made 
at the end for the chimney. This was built of logs, and made large, to admit 
of a back and jambs of stone. At the square, two end logs projected a foot 
or eighteen inches beyond the wall, to receive the butting poles, as they were 
called, against which the first row of clapboards was supported. The roof 
was formed by making the end logs shorter, until a single log formed the comb 
of the roof. On these logs the clapboards were placed, the ranges of them 
lapping some distance over those next below them, and kept in their places 
by logs placed at proper distances upon them. 

" The roof, and sometimes the floor, were finished on the same day of 
the raising. A third day was commonly spent by a few carpenters in levelling 
off the floor, making a clapboard door and a table. This last was made of a 
split slab, and supported by four round logs set in auger-holes. Some three- 
legged stools were made in the same manner. Some pins stuck in the logs 
at the back of the house supported some clapboards, which served for shelves 
for the table furniture. A single fork, placed with its lower end in a hole 
in the floor, and the upper end fastened to a joist, served for a bedstead, by 

254 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

placing a pole in the fork, with one end through a crack between the logs of 
the wall. This front pole was crossed by a shorter one within the fork with 
Its outer end through another crack. From the front pole, through a 'crack 
between the logs of the end of the house, the boards were put on which 
formed the bottom of the bed. Sometimes other poles were pinned to the 
fork a little distance above these, for the purpose of supporting the front 
and foot of the bed, while the walls were the supports of its back and head. 
A few pegs around the walls, for a display of the coats of the women and 




hunting-shirts of the men, and two small forks or buck's horns fastened to 
a joist for the rifle and shot-pouch, completed the carpenter work. 

" In the mean time the masons were at work. With the heart pieces of 
timber of which the clapboards were made, they made billets for chunking up 
the cracks between the logs of the cabin and chimney. A large bed of mortar 
was made for daubing up these cracks. A few stones formed the back and 
jambs of the chimney." 



255 



CHAPTER XIII 



PIONEER MISSIONARY WORK, PIONEER CHURCHES, ORGANIZATIONS, ETC. REV. 

JOHN JAMIESON AND OTHERS SYNODS AND PREACHERS 

" It is religion that will give 
Sweetest comfort while we live." 

The pioneer minister to travel through this wilderness was a Moravian 
missionary, or a preacher of the United Brethren Church, the Rev. Christian 
Frederic Post. He travelled from Philadelphia to the Ohio (Allegheny) 
River in 1758, on a mission from the government of Pennsylvania to the 
Delaware, Shawnee, and Mingo Indians. These Indians were then in alli- 
ance with the French, and Rev. Post's mission was to prevail on them to 
withdraw from that alliance. Post passed through what is now Jefferson 
County, from Clearfield, over Boone's Mountain, crossed Little Tobec (Little 
Toby), and then over Big Tobec (Big Toby) Creek. 

From Post's journal I quote the following extract : 

"August 2nd — We came across several places where two poles, painted 
red, were stuck in the ground by the Indians, to which they tye the prisoners, 
when they stop at night, in their return from their incursions. We arrived 
this night at Shinglimuce, where was another of the same posts. It is a 
disagreeable and melancholy sight, to see the means they make use of, accord- 
ing to their savage way, to distress others. 

" 3'>'d — We came to a part of a river called Tobeco, over the mountains, 
a very bad road. 

" 4th — We lost one of our horses and with much difficulty found him, but 
were detained a whole day on that account [at what is now Brockwayville] . 
I had much conversation with Pisquetumen [an Indian chief that travelled 
with him] ; of which I think to inform myself further when I get to my 
journey's end. 

" Sth^-We set out early this day, and made a good long stretch, cross- 
ing the big river Tobeco, and lodged between two mountains [at Cooks- 
burgh]. I had the misfortune to lose my pocket-book with three pounds five 
shillings, and sundry other things. What writings it contained were illegible 
to anybody but myself. 

" 6th~We passed all the mountains, and the big river, Weshawaucks, and 
crossed a fine meadow two miles in length, where we slept that night, having 
nothing to eat. 

" rth—We came in sight of Fort Venango [now Franklin], belonging 

256 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

to the French, situate between two mountains, in a fork of the Ohio [Alle- 
gheny] river. When we arrived, the fort being on the other side of the river, 
we hallooed, and desired them to fetch us over : which they were afraid to do ; 
but showed us a place where we might ford. We slept that night within half 
gun shot of the fort." 

********* 

" Christian Frederic Post accompanied by several friendly Indians, set 
out from Bethlehem on the 19th of July, for Fort Augusta (Sunbury). There 
he took the path along the right bank of the West Branch, leading over the 
Chillisquaque, over Muncy, Loyalsock, and Pine Creeks, crossed the Susque- 
hanna at the Great Island, and then struck one of the main Indian thorough- 
fares to the West. On the 30th of July he forded Beech Creek, on whose left 
bank he came to the forks of the road. One branch led southwest along the 
Bald Eagle, past the Nest to Frankstown, and thence to the Ohio country; 
the other due west to Chinklacamoose. Post took the latter. It led over the 
Moshannon, which he crossed on the ist of August. Next day he arrived 
at the village of Chinklacamoose in the ' Clear Fields.' Hence the travellers 
struck a trail to the northwest, crossed Toby's Creek (Clarion River), and on 
the 7th of August reached Fort Venango, built by the French in 1753, in the 
forks of the Allegheny. ' I prayed the Lord,' writes Post, ' to blind the French, 
as he did the enemies of Lpt and Elisha, that I might pass unknown.' 

" Leaving Venango, Post and his companions turned their horses' heads 
to the southwest, struck the Conequenessing [now in Butler County] on the 
I2th of August, crossed the Big Beaver, and next day arrived at Kaskadkie, 
the terminus of their journey and the head-quarters of ' the Beavers' and 
' Shingas,' war-chiefs of the western Delawares." Post was, therefore, the 
first Moravian west of the Alleghenies. He closes his interesting journal 
with these words : 

" Thirty-two days that I lay in the woods, the heavens were my covering, 
and the dew fell so hard sometimes that it pricked close to the skin. During 
this time nothing lay so heavily on my heart as the man who went along with 
me [Shamokin Daniel], for he thwarted me in everything I said or did; not 
that he did it against me, but against the country on whose business I was 
sent. When he was with the French he would speak against the English, 
and when he was with the English he would speak against the French. The 
Indians observed that he was unreliable, and desired me not to bring him 
any more to transact business between them and the prisoners. But praise 
and glory be to the Lamb that was slain, who brought me through a country 
of dreadful jealousy and mistrust, where the Prince of this world holds rule 
and government over the children of disobedience. It was my Lord who 
preserved me amid all difficulties and dangers, and his Holy Spirit directed 
me. I had no one to commune with, but Him; and it was He who brought 
me from under a thick, heavy, and dark cloud into the open air, for which 
17 257 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

I adore, and praise and worship Him. I know and confess that He, the Lord 
my God, the same who forgave my sins and washed my heart in his most 
precious blood, grasped me in his Almighty hand and held me safe, — and 
hence I live no longer for myself, but for Him, whose holy will to do is my 
chiefest pleasure." 

" Christian Frederic Post, the most adventurous of Moravian mission- 
aries employed among the North American Indians, was born at Conitz, Polish 
Prussia, in 1710. He immigrated to this country in June, 1742. Between 
1743 and 1749 he was a missionary to the Moravian Indians in New York 
and Connecticut. He fii'st married Rachel, a Wampanoag, and after her death, 
Agnes, a Delaware. liaving become a widower a second time, he, in 1751, 
returned to Europe: hence he sailed for Labrador in 1752, engaging in an 
unsuccessful attempt to bring the gospel to the Esquimaux. Having returned 
to Bethlehem in 1754, he was sent to Wyoming, where he preached to the 
Indians until in November of 1755. In the summer of 1758 Post undertook 
an embassy in behalf of government to the Delawares and Shawnees of the 
Ohio country, which resulted in the evacuation of Fort Duquesne by the 
French and the restoration of peace. In September of 1761 he engaged in 
an independent mission to the Indians of that distant region, and built him 
a hut on the Tuscarawas, near Bolivar, in Stark County, Ohio. John Hecke- 
welder joined him in the spring of 1762. But the Pontiac war drove the 
missionaries back to the settlements, and the project was abandoned. Im- 
pelled by his ruling passion. Post now sought a new field of activity in the 
southern part of the continent, and in January of 1764 sailed from Charles- 
ton, via Jamaica, for the Mosquito coast. Here he preached to the natives 
for upward of two years. He visited Bethlehem in July of 1767, returned 
to Mosquito, and was in Bethlehem, for the last time, in 1784. At this date 
he was residing with his third wife, who was an Episcopalian, in German- 
town, Philadelphia. Here he deceased April 29, 1785. On the 5th of May his 
remains were interred in the Lower Graveyard of that place. Rev. William 
White, of Christ Church, conducting the funeral service. A marble slab, 
bearing an appropriate obituary record, was placed, some thirty years ago, 
upon the veteran missionary's grave." — Transactions of the Moravian His- 
torical Society, vol. i. 

The second minister to cry aloud in this wilderness was the Rev. John 
Heckewelder in 1762. He came from Bethlehem over the Chinklacamoose 
trail to Punxsutawney. He was a Moravian missionary, and travelled thirty 
thousand miles in Indian missionary work between the years 1762 and 1814. 

The third preacher to penetrate this wilderness was a Moravian min- 
ister, the Rev. David Zeisberger, and he passed through or near Brockway- 
ville over the northwest trail to what was then the Ohio, now the Allegheny 
(in what is now Forest County) River. 

I quote as follows from " Day's Collections" : 

258 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" In the year 1767 an unarmed man of short stature, remarkably plain 
in his dress, and humble and peaceable in his demeanor, emerged from the 
thick forest upon the Allegheny River, in the neighborhood of the Seneca 
towns. This was the Moravian missionary, Rev. David Zeisberger, who, led 
by Anthony and John Papanhunk, Indian guides and assistants in his pious 
labors, had penetrated the dense wilderness of Northern Pennsylvania, from 
Wyalusing, on the Susquehanna, to preach the gospel to the Indians in this 
region. His intended station was at Goshgoshunk, which appears to have 
been on the left bank of the Allegheny, not far from the mouth of the 
Tionesta. Possibly Goshgoshunk was the same as the Indian name Cush-cush. 

" The Seneca chief, believing Brother Zeisberger to be a spy, received 
him roughly at first; but, softened by his mild demeanor, or perhaps by the 
holy truths which he declared to the chief, he at length bade him welcome, 
and permitted him to go to Gdshgoshunk. He warned him, however, not to 
trust the people there, for they had not their equals in wickedness and thirst 
for blood. This was but another incentive to him who came to preach ' not 
to the righteous, but to sinners.' However, on his arrival he was well re- 
ceived, and shared the hospitality of a relative of one of his guides. Gosh- 
goshunk, a town of the Delawares, consisted of three villages on the banks 
of the Ohio [Allegheny]. The whole town seemed to rejoice at the novelty 
of this visit. 

" The missionary found, however, that the Seneca chief had told him 
truly. He was shocked at their heathenish and diabolical rites, and espe- 
cially by their abuse of the holy name of God. An Indian preacher, called 
Wangomen, strenuously resisted the new doctrines of the missionaries, espe- 
cially that of the incarnation of the Deity, and instigated the jealousy of 
his people ; but the truth, preached in its simplicity and power, by the mission- 
aries, overcame him, and he yielded his opposition so far as to join the other 
Indians in an invitation to the missionaries to settle among them. The old 
blind chief, Allemewi, was awakened, and afterwards baptized, with the Chris- 
tian name of Solomon. The missionary went home to report his progress to 
his friends in Bethlehem. The following year Zeisberger returned, accom- 
panied by Brother Gottlob Senseman and several Moravian Indian families 
from the Susquehanna, to establish a regular mission at Goshgoshunk. They 
built a block-house, planted corn, and, gathering round their block-house sev- 
eral huts of believing Indians, they formed a small hamlet, a little separated 
from the other towns. ' To this a great number resorted, and there the 
brethren ceased not, by day and night, to teach and preach Jesus, and God 
in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself.' These meetings were fully 
attended, ' and it was curious to see so many of the audience with their faces 
painted black and vermilion and heads decorated with clusters of feathers 
and fox-tails.' A violent opposition, however, succeeded, occasioned by the 
malicious lies of the magicians and old women, — ' the corn was blasted, the 

259 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

deer and game began to retire from the woods, no chestnuts nor bilberries 
would grow any more, merely because the missionaries preached a strange 
doctrine, and the Indians were changing their way of life.' Added to this, 
the grand council at Onondaga and Zeneschio (Ischua) looked with extreme 
jealousy upon this new encroachment of white men upon their territories 
and discountenanced the establishment. In consequence of these things the 
missionaries left Goshgoshunk, and retired fifteen miles farther up the river, 
to a place called Lawanakanuck, on the opposite bank, probably near Hickory- 
town. Here they again started a new settlement, built at first a hunting-den, 
and afterwards a chapel and a dwelling-house, ' and a bell, which they re- 
ceived from Bethlehem, was hung in a convenient place.' 

"About the year 1765 the Moravian missionary David Zeisberger estab- 
lished the mission of Friedenschnetten, near the present town of Wyalusing, 
in Bradford County. This town, the name of which signifies ' tents of peace,' 
contained ' thirteen Indian huts, and upward of forty frame houses, shingled, 
and provided with chimneys and windows.' There was another mission about 
thirty miles above Friedenschnetten, — ' Tschechsehequanink,' or, as it was 
translated, ' where a great awakening had taken place.' This latter mission 
was under the charge of Brother Roth. 

" These missions prospered greatly, and much good was done among the 
Indians, until 1768, when the Six Nations, by the treaty made that year, ' sold 
the land from under their feet,' and the missionaries encountered so much 
trouble from both the Indians and whites, that in 1772 the brethren decided 
to abandon these missions and remove to the new field which had been planted 
by the indefatigable Zeisberger on the banks of the Ohio. They therefore 
started from Wyalusing on the 12th day of June, 1772, in number two hun- 
dred and forty-one souls, mostly Indians, of all ages, with their cattle and 
horses. Their destination was Friedenstadt,* near the present site of Beaver, 
Pennsylvania. They were under the guidance of Brothers Roth and Ettewein, 
and their course was from the North Branch across the Allegheny Mountains, 
by way of Bald Eagle, to the Ohio River. Brother Roth conducted those who 
went by water and Brother Ettewein those who travelled by land. In 1886 
the Moravian, published at Bethlehem, gave the journal of Rev. John Ette- 
wein, and we give the extracts from it of the progress of the party, with the 
explanatory foot-notes in the Moravian, translated by Mr. Jordan : 

"'1772 
"'Tuesday, July 7.^.— Reached Clearfield Creek, where the buffaloes 
formerly cleared large tracts of undergrowth, so as to give the appearance 
of cleared fields. Hence, the Indians called the creek "Clearfield." Here 

*"The Annals of Friedenschnetten, on the Susquehanna, with John Ettewein's 
Journal of the Removal of the Mission to Friedenstadt, 1765 and 1772, by John W. 
Jordan." 

260 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

at night and next morning, to the great joy of the hungry, nine deer were 
shot. Whoever shoots a deer has for his private portion, tlie skin and inside ; 
the meat he must bring into camp and deliver to the distributors. John and 
Cornelius acted in this capacity in our division. It proved advantageous for 
us not to keep so closely together, as we had at first designed; for if the 
number of families in a camp be large, one or two deer, when cut up, afiford 
but a scanty meal to each individual. So it happened that scarce a day passed 
without there being a distribution of venison in the advance, the centre, and 
the rear camp. (On the route there were one hundred and fifty deer and 
but three bears shot.) In this way our Heavenly Father provided for us; 
and I often prayed for our hunters, and returned thanks for their success. 

Thursday, hily 16. — ... I journeyed on, with a few of the brethren, 
two miles in a falling rain, to the site of Chinklacamoose [Clearfield town], 
where we found but three huts, and a few patches of Indian corn. The name 
signifies " No one tarries here willingly." It may, perhaps, be traced to the 
circumstance that some thirty years ago an Indian resided here as a hermit, 
upon a rock, who was wont to appear to the Indian hunters, in frightful 
shapes. Some of these, too, he killed, others he robbed of their skins; and 
this he did for many years. We moved on four miles, and were obliged to 
wade the West Branch three times, which is here like the Lehigh at Beth- 
lehem, between the island and the mountain, rapid and full of ripples. 

" ' Friday, July i/. — Advanced only four miles to a creek that comes down 
from the northwest.* Had a narrow and stony spot for our camp. 

" ' Saturday, July i8. — Moved on without awaiting Roth and his divi- 
sion, who on account of the rain had remained in camp. To-day Shebosch lost 
a colt from the bite of a rattlesnake. Here we left the West Branch three 
miles to the Northwest, up the creek, crossing it five times. Here, too, the 
path went precipitately up the mountain, and four or five miles up and up to 
the summit — ^to a spring the head-waters of the Ohio, f Here I lifted up my 
heart in prayer as I looked westward, that the Son of Grace might rise over 
the heathen nations that dwell beyond the distant horizon. 

" ' Sunday, July ip. — As yesterday, but two families kept with me, be- 
cause of the rain, we had a quiet Sunday, but enough to do drying our effects. 
In the evening all joined me, but we could hold no service as the Ponkis 
[gnats] were so excessively annoying that the cattle pressed toward and into 
our camp, to escape their persecutors in the smoke of the fires. This vermin 
is a plague to man and beast, both by day and night. But in the swamp 
through which we are now passing, their name is legion. Hence the Indians 



* " Anderson's Creek, in Clearfield County, which they struck at a point near the 
present Curwensville." 

t " Probably the source of the North Branch of the Mahoning, which rises ,in 
Brady Township, Clearfield County, and empties into the Allegheny, in , Armstrong 
County, ten miles above Kittanning." 

261 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

call it the Ponksutenink, — i.e., the town of the Ponkis.* The word is equiva- 
lent to living dust and ashes, the vermin being so small as not to be seen, and 
their bite being hot as sparks of fire, or hot ashes. The brethren here related 
an Indian myth, to wit : That the aforecited Indian hermit and sorcerer, after 
having been for so many years a terror to all Indians, had been killed by one 
who had burned his bones, but the ashes he blew into the swamp, and they 
became living things, and hence the Ponkis. 

" ' Monday, July 20. — After discoursing on the daily word — " The Lord 
our God be with us, may he not forsake us" — we travelled on through the 
swamp, and after five miles crossed the path that leads from Frankstown f 
to Goshgoshunk, and two miles from that point encamped at a run. At 5 
P.M., came Brethren Peter, Boaz, and Michael, with fourteen unbaptized 
Indians, from Lagundontenink, to meet us with four horses, and five bushels 
of Indian corn, also Nathaniel's wife from Sheninga X with a letter from 
Brother Jungman. I thought had I but milk or meat, I would add rice, and 
prepare a supper for the new-comers. But two of them went to hunt, and 
■ in half an hour Michael brought in a deer to my fire. My eyes moistened 
with tears. Sister Esther hunted up the large camp kettle, and all had their 
fill of rice and venison, and were much pleased. That night and the following 
morning there were four deer shot by the company. 

" ' Tuesday, July 21. — The rear division came up, and the destitute — viz., 
such as had lived solely upon meat and milk — were supplied each with one 
pint of Indian corn. We proceeded six miles to the first creek. In the even- 
ing a number of the brethren came to my fire, and we sat together right 
cheerful until midnight. Once when asleep I was awakened by the singing 
of the brethren who had gathered around the fire of the friends from Lagun- 
dontenink. It refreshed my inmost soul. 

" ' Wednesday, July 22. — We journeyed on four miles, to the first fork § 
where a small creek comes down from the mouth. 

" ' Thursday, July 23. — Also four miles to the second fork, to the creek, 
coming in from the south-east. || As a number of us met here in good time 
we had a meeting. Cornelius's brother-in-law stated that he was desirous of 
being the Lord's; therefore he had left his friends so as to live with the 
brethren, and to hear of the Saviour. 

Friday, July 24. — The path soon left the creek, over valleys and 
heights to a spring. Now we were out of the swamp, and free from the 

* " Kept down the valley of the Mahoning, into Jefferson County, Punxsutawney 
is a village in Young Township, Jefferson County. The swamp lies in Gaskill and 
Young Townships, Jefferson County." 

t " Near Hollidaysburg. See Scull's map of 1759 for this path." 

t " Sheninga is a township in Lawrence County, just above Friedenstadt." 

§ " A branch of the Mahoning." 

II " Query.— The^ creek that comes in and up below Punxsutawney." 

262 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

plague of the Ponkis. Also found huckleberries, which were very grateful. 
Our to-day's station was five miles, and about so far we advanced on. 

Saturday, July 25.— On which day we encamped at a Salt Lick, and 
kept Sunday some three miles from the large creek, which has so many 
curves, like a horseshoe, so that if one goes per canoe, when the water is 
high, four days are consumed in reaching the Ohio, whereas, by land, the 
point can be reached in one day.* Our youngsters went to the creek to 
fish, and others to hunt ; and at sunset they came in with two deer, and four 
strings of fish.' " 

"John Roth was born in Brandenburg, February 3, 1726, of Catholic 
parents, and was brought up a locksmith. In 1748 he united with the Mora- 
vians and emigrated to America, arriving at Bethlehem in June of 1756. He 
deceased at York, Pennsylvania, July 22, 1791. 

"John Ettewein was born 29th of June, 1721, in Freudenstadt, Wiir- 
temberg. He united with the Moravians in 1740, and came to Bethlehem in 
April of 1754. Here he was set apart for service in the schools of his adopted 
church, when, in 1758, a new field of labor was assigned him at the Brethren's 
settlements in Western North Carolina (Forsyth and adjacent counties). 
During his residence in Wachovia he itinerated among the spiritually desti- 
tute Germans of South Carolina (1762), and visited the Salburgers and Swiss 
of Ebenezer (in Georgia) in 1765. The following year he was recalled to 
Bethlehem. This place was the scene of his greatest activity, as here, under 
God, he led the Moravian Church in safety through the stormy times of the 
Revolution. He was ordained a bishop in 1784. In 1789 he sailed for Eu- 
rope, and attended a general synod convened at Herrnhut. John Ettewein 
was one of the remarkable men of the Brethren's Church in North America. 
He deceased at Bethlehem, 2d of January, 1802." 

ASSOCIATE REFORMED, SECEDER, OR THE UNITED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 

This church is one of the youngest of the Presbyterian bodies in America, 
but the history of its antecedents extends back more than a century. Its 
original antecedents were the Associate and Reformed Presbyterian bodies. 
The former body was composed of Presbyterians who seceded from the Gen- 
eral Assembly of Scotland in 1733 and formed themselves into what was 
known as the "Associate Presbytery," or, as the masses knew them, " the 
Seceders." The first minister of that denomination to arrive in America was 
Rev. Alexander Gellatly, who settled at Octorara, Pennsylvania, in 1753, 

* " The Mahoning, formed by the junction of the East and South Branch, which 
meets at Nicholsburg, in Indiana County. This route to the Allegheny was the same 
path taken by Post in 1758, when returning from his second visit to the Ohio Indians 
in that year, and between Chinklacamoose and the Allegheny, over the same path 
travelled by Barbara Leininger in 1755, when Chinklacamoose and Punxsutawney were 

villages. 

263 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

where he labored for eight years. Many members of the body had preceded 
him to this country, settHng along the seaboard, and some of them going as 
far south as the Carolinas. The church was largely increased by immigra- 
tion from year to year, and the Presbytery of Pennsylvania was organized 
in 1758. 

The first minister of the Reformed Presbyterian or Covenanter Church 
to arrive in America was Rev. John Cuthbertson, who came in 1752. 

I here reproduce an extract from Rev. David X. Junkins's centennial 
sermon delivered at New Castle, Pennsylvania, in July, 1876:' 

" One hundred and nine years ago there came to the Indian town of 
Gosch-gosch-kunk, at the mouth of the Tionesta Creek^ where it debouches 
into the Allegheny River, in what is now Forest County, Pennsylvania, a 
solitary German, a minister of the gospel in the Unitas Fratrum Church, 
usually called Moravians. Accompanied by two converted Indians, he had 
set out from the Christian Indian town of Friedenshutten, on the north 
branch of the Susquehanna, which stood near to the present town of Wya- 
lusing (Bradford County). Traversing the unbroken and dense forests of 
Northern Pennsylvania and Southern New York on foot, with but a single 
pack-horse to carry their baggage, after many dangers and hardships they 
arrived at Gosch-gosch-kunk, at the mouth of the Tionesta, on the i6th day 
of October, 1767. This village was only two years old, having been founded 
after the close of Pontiac's war. 

" Soon after, this missionary was joined by his wife, and by John Sense- 
man and his wife, and a band of Christian Indians from the Susquehanna, 
and they attempted to establish a mission at that point. But they found much 
opposition from the chiefs and others, and although they were blest in winning 
a few converts, the roughness of the country, the leanness of the land, and 
the opposition of the natives proved so discouraging that they soon began 
to contemplate a change of locality. God prepared the way for this in a 
most remarkable manner. 

" The tribes of Indians which roamed along the Allegheny and the Beaver 
at that day were chiefly of the Lenni Lenape or Delaware nation, a branch 
of which was at Gosch-gosch-kunk, called Munseys, but there were mingled 
with them Senecas, Shawnees, and some Mohicans. The Senecas claimed 
the soil on the Allegheny, and their chief, Wangomen, took violent ground 
against the missionaries, and objected to the Munseys, who had built their 
town by permission of the former tribe, permitting the missionaries to build 
houses and a church upon it. Failing to obtain by negotiation the necessary 
privileges, the necessity for a change of locality became imminent. They 
accordingly moved across the Allegheny River, and built a mission town in 
what is now the heart of the Oil Creek oil region. The oil was gath- 
ered even then, and used by both Indians and missionaries for medicinal 
purposes. 

264 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" At that time there were two villages of the Lenni Lenape in this vicinity, 
—one near the mouth of the Mahoning, called Kas-kas-kunk. The name of 
the chief who held sway in this valley at that day was Pack-an-ke. His prin- 
cipal sub-chief, counsellor, and warrior was named Glik-kik-an. He was a 
man of great natural powers. His fame as a warrior was only eclipsed by his 
reputation for eloquence. He had fought many battles, both in the wars be- 
tween the tribes and in the wars of the French against the English, and he 
possessed a glowing eloquence which carried all before it at the council-fire. 
He had disputed with Christian Frederick Post at Tuscarawas; he had 
silenced the Jesuit priests in argument at Venango; and he came up to the 
mission town in the oil region to dispute with and overcome Zeisberger and 
Senseman. Escorted to Lawunack-han-nek by Wangomen and a procession 
of Indians, he entered the mission-house to challenge the missionaries to 
theological combat. Zeisberger being absent, Glik-kik-an was received by 
Anthony, a converted Indian, who, as Zeisberger remarked, ' was as eager 
to bring souls to Christ as a hunter's hound is eager to chase the deer.' 

" Placing food before his guests, he at once introduced the subject of 
religion. ' My friends,' said he, ' I will tell you a great thing. God made 
the heavens and the earth and all things that in them are. Nothing exists 
that God did not make.' Pausing, he added: 'God has created us. But 
who of us knows his Creator ? not one ! I tell you the truth — not one ! For 
we have fallen away from God — we are polluted creatures ; our minds are 
darkened by sin.' 

" Here he sat down and was silent a long time. Suddenly rising again, 
he exclaimed, ' God who made all things and created us came into the world 
in the form and fashion of a man. Why did he thus come into the world? 
Think of this !' He paused, and then answered, ' God took upon him flesh 
and blood in order that, as man, he might reconcile the world unto himself. 
By his bitter death on the cross he procured for us life and eternal salvation, 
redeeming us from sin, from death, and from the power of the devil.' In such 
apothegms he unfolded the whole gospel. When he ceased, Zeisberger, who 
had in the mean time entered, briefly corroborated his words, and exhorted 
Glik-kik-an to lay them to heart. 

" ' Glik-kik-an,' says De Schweinitz, ' was an honest man and open to 
conviction. He had upheld the superstitions of his fathers because he had 
not been convinced that the Christian faith was true.' But now the truth 
began to dawn upon his mind. In the place of his elaborate speech he merely 
replied, ' I have nothing to say ; I believe your words.' And when he re- 
turned to Gosch-gosch-kunk, instead of boasting of a victory over the teachers, 
he urged the people to go and hear the gospel. He had been hired, like 
Balaam, to curse God's own, but, like Balaam, he was constrained to bless 
them. Not long after this first visit of the warrior of the Mahoning, Zeis- 
berger was constrained to go to Fort Pitt (Pittsburg) to obtain provisions. 

26s 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

Senseman accompanied him, and they were instrumental in saving the country 
from the horrors of another war. 

" They passed Fort Venango (FrankHn) on their return. Soon after 
this they received a second visit from GHk-kik-an. He came to tell them 
that he had determined to embrace Christianity, and he brought an invita- 
tion from Pack-an-ke to settle on the banks of the Beaver, on a tract of 
land which should be reserved for the exclusive use of the mission. Zeis- 
berger saw the advantages of the offer, but not feeling authorized to accept 
it without consent of the board at Bethlehem, he sent two runners to that 
town in Northampton county, for instructions. The board gave him plenary 
power, and he accepted the offer of a home in our beautiful valley. It took 
time, however, for the runners to go and come through that vast stretch of 
wilderness, and the migration was not effected until the next April. 

" But before they left the oil region the Lord cheered them with some 
fruits of their toil. Early in December, 1769, the first Protestant baptism in 
the valley of the Allegheny took place at Lawunakhannek. Luke and Paulina 
were then baptized ; and Allemewi at Christmas ; and in the beginning of 
1770 several other converts were added. 

" On the 17th day of April, 1770, after a friendly parting with Wango- 
men and their other opponents, who now began to regret their removal, 
Zeisberger, Sensemen, and their families with the Christian Indians, left 
Lawunakhannek in fifteen canoes. They swept past Gosch-gosch-kunk and 
bore down the Allegheny, and reached Fort Pitt on the 20th of April. 

" It was a novel sight presented to the traders and the garrison at that 
point, to see a colony of Protestant Christian Indians, who from savages had 
been transformed into mild and consistent followers of Jesus. 

" Leaving Fort Pitt, they descended the Ohio to the mouth of the Beaver, 
^hat now populous locality was then a deep solitude. Not even a wigwam 
was to be seen where Beaver, Rochester, New Brighton, Bridgewater, Falls- 
ton, and Beaver Falls now throng with population. 

"Ascending the Beaver, they carry their canoes and goods around the 
falls, and arrive at a town on the west bank of that river a little north of 
where Newport now stands. This Indian town was inhabited by a community 
of women, all single, and all pledged never to marry. An uncloistered nun- 
nery! I do not wonder that Indian women, who were doomed to do the 
drudgery of the family, both in the wigwam and the cornfield, should resolve 
to lead a life of single-blessedness. It is less excusable in civilized society, 
in which Christianity has emancipated woman from such hardships. 

"A little more than a mile above this town of maidens, on the east bank 
of the Beaver, and below the afflux of the Mahoning, they found a broad 
plain, or bottom-land, as we would call it, upon which they made an encamp- 
ment, putting up log huts. 

The first business,' says De Schweinitz, ' undertaken was an embassy 

266 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

to Pack-an-ke, whose capital stood near, or, perhaps, upon the site of New 
Castle, and was called New Kas-kas-kunk. Old Kas-kas-kunk, the former 
capital, was at the confluence of the Shenango and Mahoning Rivers. 

Pack-an-ke, a venerable, gray-haired chief, but active as in youth, 
received the deputation at his own house. 

" ' In response to the speeches of Abram (a converted Indian) and Zeis- 
berger, he said they were welcome to his country, and should be undisturbed 
in the worship of their God. 

" ' A great feast was in preparation. Indians were flocking in in great 
numbers. Native etiquette required that the deputies should grace the occa- 
sion with their presence ; but after Abram's exposition of their views, Pack- 
an-ke made no attempt to detain them. 

Thus one hundred and six years ago, on this soil, and probably about 
the place where our Second Ward school-house (New Castle) now stands, 
was exhibited by a pagan savage chief, or king, a measure of hospitality and 
religious toleration, such as nominally Christian Rome denies, and such as 
even Protestant Christians are slow to extend to their fellow-men.' 

" A village of cabins was soon built upon the site of the encampment, to 
which Zeisberger gave the name of Langunton-temunk in the Delaware 
language; in German, Friedenstadt ; and in English, City of Peace. It soon 
began to attract the Indians. Some Munseys from Gosch-gosch-kunk were 
the first to come and join the mission ; soon after, Glik-kik-kan from Kas- 
kas-kunk. He was the first convert to Christianity in the valley of the 
Shenango. 

" Zeisberger had warned this brave warrior that persecution would 
follow his embracing Christianity, but it did not deter him. King Pack-an-ke 
reproached him. ' And have you gone to the Christian teachers from our 
very councils ?' said he. ' What do you want of them ? Do you hope to get 
a white skin? Not so much as one of your feet would turn white. How 
then can your whole skin be changed? Were you not a brave man? Were 
you not an honorable counsellor? Did you not sit at my side in this house, 
with a blanket before you, and a pile of wampum belts upon it, and help me 
to direct the affairs of our nation? And now you despise all this! You 
think you have found something better ! Wait ! in good time you will see 
how miserably you have been deceived !' 

" To this burst of passion Glik-kik-kan replied, ' You are right ; I have 
joined the brethren. Where they go, I will go; where they lodge, I will 
lodge ; nothing shall separate me from them ; their people shall be my people, 
and their God, my God.' Attending church a few days after this, a sermon 
on the heinousness of sin so moved him that he walked through the village 
to his tent sobbing aloud. 'A haughty war-captain,' wrote Zeisberger, ' weeps 
publicly in the presence of his former associates. This is marvellous. Thus 
the Saviour, by his word, breaks the hard hearts and humbles the proud minds 

of the Indians.' 

267 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" Finding their locality, which was on or near the present site of the 
hamlet of Moravia, too low and unhealthy, Zeisberger, toward the end of July, 
laid out a new and larger town, with a church on a hill, on the west side of 
the river opposite the first. This town was located on the ridge to the west 
of the railroad, and extending north from the Spring run this side (north) 
of Moravia station. Thus one hundred and six years ago, this month (July, 
1876), was founded the first Christian village and community in this beau- 
tiful valley — yes, the first west of the Allegheny Mountains! We cannot 
pursue the details of its history farther in this discourse except to say that 
upon that spot, consecrated by the prayers and tears and the toils of David 
Zeisberger, John Senseman, George Youngman, and their wives, and of Abra- 
ham, Glik-kik-kan, and other red men who had given their hearts to Jesus, a 
Christian town of five hundred souls grew rapidly up. The number of con- 
verts increased until, before they migrated to the Tuscarawas, it reached two 
hundred. The town and church were built of hewn logs, and were occupied 
by an industrious and orderly community. It continued to prosper until, from 
various considerations, they were induced to emigrate to the valley of the 
Muskingum, in what is now the State of Ohio. 

" The considerations which led to this change grew out of various circum- 
stances ; partly from the necessity of the removal of the Christian Indians on 
the Susquehanna to a place where they would be more exempt from the 
encroachments of the white settlers, and partly from untoward influences 
gathering round them in this vicinity. 

" Traders had early established posts along the Allegheny and Ohio. 
Whiskey was introduced by them, and habits of intemperance grew rapidly 
among the pagan Indians. It not unfrequently happened that the wild 
Indians, when drunk, would come to the peaceable Christian town, and whoop 
and shriek along the streets, insult the women, and sometimes disturb even 
the meetings for worship. Thus early were the atrocities that inevitably 
spring from the rum-traffic perpetrated in our loved valley, and down to the 
present day those atrocities have never ceased. 

" Early in the spring of 1772, accompanied by Glik-kik-an and several 
others of the Indians, Zeisberger proceeded to the Tuscarawas to announce 
the coming of the Susquehanna Indians, and prepare for their reception. The 
work still went on at Friedenstadt until the spring of 1773, when the mis- 
sionaries and their Christian Indians took a sad farewell of their beautiful 
home on the banks of the Beaver ; levelled their beautiful sanctuary with the 
ground, to prevent its desecration, and bent their faces toward the banks of 
the Tuscarawas, where, at the beautiful locality of the ' Big Spring,' a few 
miles from it, they built two towns,— Gnattenhutten and Schoenbrun,— in 
which they lived happily and labored faithfully for Christ, until the wars came 
on which resulted in so many disasters and so much bloodshed, and they were 
cruelly murdered, Glik-kik-an among them, by a body of frontiersmen from 

268 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

Washington and Green Counties, Pennsylvania, and from West Virginia, 
under the command of Colonel David Williamson. These men had marched 
to avenge some atrocious murders which had been committed by wild Indians 
in those counties, and, failing to discriminate between the harmless Moravian 
Indians and the real authors of the murders, they cruelly slaughtered nearly 
one hundred old men, women, and children ! It was a terrible tragedy, illus- 
trative of the fearful nature of unbridled and undiscriminating vengeance. 

" Although not directly connected with the history of our congregation, I 
have deemed it proper to give this brief and imperfect sketch of the interest- 
ing congregation of Christian Indians, which one hundred and six years ago 
was established in our immediate vicinity, and as our own was established 
near the same site, and once extended its borders almost, or quite, to Frieden- 
stadt (Moravia), it may be considered the first successor of that interesting 
congregation. 

" The tawny Delawares and Senecas and Shawnees still lingered along 
the banks of the Shenango and Neshannock for some years after this church 
was organized. After the decisive victory of General Wayne, in August, 
1794, a treaty was formed with the Indians, by which the peace of the border 
was for a time secured; and, shortly after, white inhabitants began to cross 
the Ohio and Allegheny, and settle the country lying between those rivers 
and Lake Erie. Gradually the tide of population flowed north and west, and, 
by 1798, there was a considerable population scattered through what is now 
the counties of Beaver, Butler, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango, Crawford, and 
Erie. 

" As in the entire process of settling Pennsylvania, the sturdy and in- 
telligent Scotch-Irish race were the pioneers. They had at an early period 
settled in Bucks, Chester, Lancaster, and Cumberland Counties. They were 
the first to cross the Alleghenies and occupy the counties east of the Allegheny 
River and south of the Ohio; and when the broad, fertile^ and forest-clad 
region north of that river was opened to them, they were prompt to enter it. 

" An herculean task lay before them. A massive forest was to fell, fields 
were to clear and reclaim, and bread was to be wrung from the" soil — rich, 
indeed, but rugged and untamed. But the very hardships of their condition 
developed energy and self-reliance. Trained in their former homes in the 
Bible and the Shorter Catechism, and most of them in the Psalms of David, 
they brought with them a piety, if rude, yet sturdy and sincere. They made 
their cabins and the surrounding forest vocal with their voice of unsophisti- 
cated praise and prayer. Loving the preached gospel, and reverencing the 
ministers whom they left behind in the older settlements, they had a natural 
desire to receive visits from them, and, at their request, some of the godly 
pastors from over the rivers made occasional visits. The venerable Elisha 
McCurdy and Thomas Marquis were the first ministers of our order who 
traversed the hills. and valleys, gathering the scattered settlers in little assem- 

269 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

blies to worship God and hear the precious gospel. They went as far north 
as Erie County, and visited many settlements, dispensing the word and ordi- 
nances. It is impossible in our day to appreciate the difficulties of such mis- 
sionary tours. There was not a bridge from the Ohio to the lake, over any 
stream. The creeks were often swollen so that they were compelled to swim 
their horses across the angry current; and sometimes even this was im- 
practicable, and the missionary would be prevented by such insurmountable 
obstacles from fulfilling his appointment." 

Among the first ministers of the gospel who visited this region, some 
of whom remained permanently, was Thomas Edgar Hughes, who settled 
at Greensburg, now called Darlington. He was a man of mark, and the 
first settled pastor north of the Ohio. He was of Welch origin, his grand- 
father having come from Wales. He was born in York County, Pennsyl- 
vania, April 7, 1769. Licensed by the Presbytery of Ohio, now Pittsburg, in 
1798, he was ordained and installed over the churches of New Salem and 
Mount Pleasant, August 28, 1796. 

Soon after he was joined by two other ministers from the Reformed 
Presbyterian Church of Ireland. 

A Presbytery was formed in 1774, and the church, as a body, obtained 
a foothold in the New World. The subject of union between these bodies 
was agitated before either was many years old, the leading ministers be- 
lieving that such an alliance would add to the efficiency of both. During the 
Revolutionary War several meetings of ministers of the two denominations 
were held, at which the matter was thoroughly discussed. In 1782 three 
Presbyteries met in Philadelphia, and a union was consummated. The new 
organization took the name of the "Associate Reformed Synod of North 
America." A few of the ministers of both bodies refused to enter into the 
alliance, and the original bodies maintained a separate existence. 

The Associate Reformed Church flourished. It spread rapidly to the 
westward, and was largely and steadily increased by immigration. In 1793 
it had a firm hold on the territory now known as Western Pennsylvania. In 
that year the original Presbytery of Pennsylvania was divided into two, — the 
First and Second Associate Reformed Presbyteries of Pennsylvania. The 
Second, by order of the Synod, took the name of the Monongahela. It was 
composed of four ministers, — Revs. John Jamieson, Henderson, Warwick, and 
Rankin, with their elders. This was the first Presbytery organized in con- 
nection with any of the Reformed Churches west of the Allegheny Mountains. 
Its boundary lines were the Allegheny Mountains on the east and the' Pacific 
Ocean on the west. 

The prosperity of the new body in Western Pennsylvania was remark- 
able. Soon it became necessary to form new Presbyteries in the territory 
originally covered by the Presbyter}- of the Monongahela, and the church 
commanded the attention of the entire country. 

270 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

A union of the Associate with the Associate Reformed Churches of North 
America had been for a long time considered desirable by the leading min- 
isters of both denominations, and it was accomplished in 1858. The con- 
summation took place in Old City Hall, Pittsburg, and was the occasion of 
general rejoicing among the ministers and members of both bodies. It was 
in this city of ecclesiastical reunions that the United Presbyterian Church as 
a distinct Presbyterian body was born. 

I give a sketch of one of these ministers, written by myself for the 
United Presbyterian, of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania : 

" Rev. John Jamieson was born in Thornhill farm, Scotland, about eight 
miles south of Glasgow, in 1747. His father was Allan Jamieson, a descend- 
ant from the noble family of Bruce. One of Allan Jamieson's ancestors was 
steward to Mary, Queen of Scotland. This ancestry turned Protestant, left 
the court, and returned to Thornhill farm. Rev. John Jamieson's mother, 
according to the family tradition, was a descendant of Sir William Wallace, 
who left a natural daughter. 

" Rev. John Jamieson enjoyed the advantages of wealth. He graduated 
from St. Andrew's University, and studied theology with Rev. John Brown, 
of Haddington, who formulated the Westminster Catechism. Rev. John 
Jamieson was licensed and ordained by a Burgher presbytery, of Scotland, in 
about his twenty-fifth year. He preached from the Hebrew or Greek Bible, 
translated his own texts, and was an expert shorthand writer. According to 
his diary, he preached at Bathgate, Scotland, in 1776. Rev. John Jamieson's 
early life embraced a stormy period in Scotland between the Scotch and Eng- 
lish. His adult life was surrounded by a period of literary activity. The 
poems of Ramsay, Thompson, Burns, Scott, Holmes, and others were written 
and published from 1730 to 1785. The known Scottish poets then exceeded 
two thousand. In 1775 Rev. John Jamieson married Agnes (Nancy) Gibbs, 
daughter of John Gibbs, of Paisley. Gibbs's wife was a Miss Jackson. The 
young couple set up housekeeping in Edinburgh, Scotland, where they re- 
sided seven years. Three children were born to them in this city, — viz., 
Jeannette, John, and Agnes, otherwise called Nancy. Rev. John Jamieson, 
considering himself prepared for thorough gospel labor, determined to migrate 
to America and devote his life to missionary work in the New World. On ' 
August 27, 1783, he sold the Thornhill farm to a Mr. Wilson. It might be 
well to state here that Pollock, author of " The Course of Time," was born 
on the adjoining farm, and that these two farms are now literally covered 
with houses and form a part of greater Glasgow. At the age of thirty-six, 
with his wife and three children. Rev. John Jamieson started from Edin- 
burgh, Scotland, for America, and in the latter part of November, 1783, landed 
in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he immediately connected himself with 
the Associate Reformed Church. 

" He resided here and went on missionary journeys through the wilder- 

271 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

ness on horseback as far south and west as the Carolinas • and Georgia, until 
September 22, 1784, when he located at Big Spring, Cumberland County, 
Pennsylvania, at which place he preached in a log church for eight years, also 
at Stony Ridge, Shippensburg, Marsh Creek, Conococheague, and other 
points, in barns and houses. He also purchased six hundred acres of land 
and erected a grist-mill at or near Big Spring, and his son John, Jr., resided 
here until after 1809. 

" Three children were born to Mr. Jamieson while living at Big Spring, 
— viz., William, Isabelle, and Margaret. 

" In the early spring of 1792 Mr. Jamieson resigned his charges in Cum- 
berland County and crossed the Allegheny Mountains with his wife and three 
children, with their effects all on horseback, or pack-horses, and located in 
Hannahstown, Westmoreland County, leaving John Jamieson, Jr., and two 
other children on the homestead at Big Spring. In 1794 he removed to 
Derry, and in 1796 to Altman's Run, where he erected his log cabin in what 
is now Conemaugh or Blacklick Township, Indiana County, Pennsylvania. 

" In the year 1792 he and Rev. Matthew Henderson, Sr., were appointed 
by the synod to missionate in Virginia and Kentucky for one year. In 1794 
he dropped Hannahstown and made frequent missionary tours through what 
is now Indiana and Armstrong Counties, and was the first pastor to have a 
charge north of the Conemaugh River and west of Blacklick in Indiana and 
Armstrong Counties. In 1793 the second presbytery of Pennsylvania was 
formed, and at a later time by order of the synod was called ' Monongahela.' 

" This presbytery was composed of four ministers, — viz., Rev. John 
Jamieson, Rev. Matthew Henderson, Sr., Rev. Robert Warwick, and Rev. 
Adam Rankin, with their elders. Its boundary lines were the Allegheny 
Mountains on the east, and the Pacific Ocean on the west. Rev. John Jamie- 
son's pioneer preaching in Western Pennsylvania was at the installation of 
Rev. Robert Warwick at Laurel Hill, Dunlap's Creek, and Spring Hill. These 
points are in Westmoreland and Fayette Counties. 

" In 1794 Rev. John Jamieson organized the Crete church, in Indiana 
County, preaching to the people first from a small platform, five by eight 
feet, supported by wooden brackets between two large oak-trees, the congre- 
gation, of course, being seated on logs on the ground. His mode of preach- 
ing was to lecture or expound the Scripture in the morning, and to preach 
a sermon divided into firstly, secondly, etc., in the afternoon. At Crete a 
tent was secured for a while, and then, in 1815, a log church, twenty-four 
by thirty, was erected. He preached at this point until near 1820. From 
his diary I find that he also preached at Conemaugh, Crooked Creek, Bethel 
(Indiana County), Plum Creek, and Kittanning, and that he held services in 
cabins and log barns. The names of these places, dates, etc., are recorded in 
his diary, as well as notes of texts and sermons, many of these in shorthand. 

" In 1790 the Presbytery of Pennsylvania was directed to deal with him 

272 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

[Rev. John Jamieson] for not attending synod. In 1791 he was present, but 
was disgusted, as he tells us in his published account of his subsequent trial, 
so that he resolved to terminate his connection with the body. This threat 
he did not carry out, although he soon afterwards resigned his charge at Big 
Spring. Having finished his mission to Kentucky, he arrived during the 
winter of 1792-93, in Western Pennsylvania, and was very soon settled in 
Brush Creek, now Bethel, Westmoreland County, Hannahstown, near the 
present New Alexandria, and Conemaugh, Indiana County. He was released 
from Brush Creek and also from Hannahstown (which he had informally 
dropped), and his time was given to Loyalhanna in connection with Cone- 
maugh, but he continued to visit and preach to groups of families in a very 
large district. In May, 1794, he attended the meeting of the synod at Marsh 
Creek, Adams County, Pennsylvania. It was the custom of the synod then 
to make the next minister in seniority the moderator, and it happened to be 
Mr. Jamieson's turn. He took the chair, protesting, however, that he would 
not stay there long. 

" At an early stage of the meeting he presented ' An Overture' for the 
consideration and adoption of the synod. This overture maintained that a 
strict and rigid uniformity in all things was essential to the government and 
discipline of the Church; and that the synod should adopt a confession and 
covenant to secure such uniformity in praise, public and private, in the admin- 
istration of the Supper, in the solemnization of marriage, etc. The language 
of the overture was by no means soft and persuasive, and its personal thrusts 
were well understood. After debate, more plain than courteous, the overture 
found no friend but its author, and was emphatically rejected. Mr. Jamieson 
immediately left the chair, protesting that he could not preside over any body 
that would thus ignore ' the attainments' of the Church in Reformation days. 
Another moderator was elected, although Mr. Jamieson retained his seat in 
synod, and thus avoided the obligation of signing as moderator the minutes 
of a backsliding synod. He returned home filled with great indignation, and 
in his published defence takes great credit to himself that it was not until 
the second Sabbath after his arrival home that he commenced his public con- 
demnation and protest. By his own confession he spared neither synod as 
a whole, nor the leading members individually ; and he spoke equally severely 
of the Red Stone Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church, in the midst of 
which he lived. Complaint was made to synod in 1795 of his course by 
William Findley, one of his elders; and Messrs. Dobbins and Young were 
appointed a committee to go west and help the second Presbytery of Penn- 
sylvania investigate these charges, together with other charges of heretical 
teaching. This was done in the autumn of the same year, and resulted in 
the tabling of a libel containing eleven specifications. This libel and all the 
testimony relating thereto was referred to the next synod. The gravamen 
of the whole may be reduced to two points, — viz., a false and injurious abuse 
18 273 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

of the synod and particularly of Dr. Annan and of John M. Mason, ' who 
inherited his father's odiousness, and error in doctrine in reference to faith 
and the offer of the gospel to the reprobate.' There was no difficulty in the 
matter of proof, for he admitted that he had denounced the unfaithfulness of 
synod, because it ' made an act allowing or approving the singing of Watts's 
Psalms, Sternold and Hopkins, or anything that families pleased in family 
worship,' and that it did so at Dr. Annan's dictation, because Mr. Nourse, 
his wealthiest member and elder, claimed this privilege; also another act 
setting aside the fast-days and thanksgiving days usually observed in con- 
nection with the Lord's Supper ; and that this was to favor the rich merchants 
in Dr. Mason's charge; and finally that they were about setting aside the 
publication of the banns of marriage, so that the clergy might not lose their 
marriage fees ; ' that thus the worship, government, and discipline of the 
Church are nearly given up for a price or a loaf of bread.' 

" Rev. John Jamieson ' was found guilty by synod at its meeting in 
1796,' and ' suspended from the office of the ministry and prohibited from 
teaching students of divinity until next meeting of syno.d.' At the next meet- 
ing, in 1797, he refused to give any satisfaction, but read a protest, declined 
the authority of the synod, and withdrew. Synod forthwith deposed and 
excommunicated him, and this action was never reversed or modified. A 
large portion of his church at Hannahstown joined with him in his declina- 
ture, and he continued to minister to them ' for a season,' — viz., nine years, 
or until 1805. 

" Mr. Jamieson was a man of decided abilities, and of some theological 
attainments; so that his presbytery placed their theological students under 
his care, and Alexander Porter, Alexander McCoy, and David Proudfit were 
at this time pursuing their studies with him." — Bigj Spring Church History. 

" Nothing daunted, the Rev. John Jamieson wrote a book defending his 
views and the old-time customs of his Church. Also he continued to preach 
as an independent till near the day of his death. The country being new, 
he preached from settlement to settlement. For roads he had forest paths ; 
bridges there were none, and in devotion to duty he braved alike the beasts 
of the forest, the summer's heat, and the winter's cold. Truly his was the 
' voice of one crying in the wilderness ;' in the wilderness, crying almost 
daily somewhere for thirty-six years, either in the open air, in the cabin, in 
the woods, in the log barn, or in the log church. 

" From 1783 to at least 1816 he went about his Master's business. Money 
he did not need, for every cabin door was opened wide to him, while his 
wife and family were busy at his own cabin raising food, scutching, spinning, 
weaving, knitting, and making the family home-spun clothing. 

" Of the twenty-six religious bodies in Pennsylvania that Rev. John 
Jamieson organized through his personality, twenty-four of them are to-day 
strong, wealthy United Presbyterian churches, and are under the jurisdiction 

274 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

of one of the following presbyteries, — viz., Big Spring, Westmoreland, Cone- 
maugh, or Monongahela. Of the two remaining organizations, one is a Cove- 
nanter ehurch at Alexandria, Westmoreland County, and the other is the 
Covenanter church at Clarksburg, Indiana County. 

" Rev. John Jamieson was six feet three inches high, and dignified in 
bearing. Mentally he was able, thoroughly educated, and possessed won- 
derful vigor, energy, and endurance. His voice was strong, clear, and far 
reaching; his oratory magnetic, holding the attention of his hearers as well 
through a long service as a short one. He was courteous, imperious, self- 
willed, quick-tempered, ultra-conservative, and hyper-Calvinistic. 

" Although by inheritance possessing considerable wealth, he gave him- 
self incessantly to ministerial duties. By his commanding presence, by his 
ingenuous and fearless honesty, and by his ability, he became the leader gen- 
erally of all clear-headed and honest people in the fields of labor; and was 
dreaded by all dishonest and time-serving persons whether in business, church, 
or state. He was characterized by his abhorrence of all shams and carnal 
policy, and by morality and kindness to the poor. He was frugal and tem- 
perate. He labored for the good of the community. He was a prominent 
leader in the formation of Indiana County. To aid in the civil interests of 
Indiana County, he contracted for the erection of the first county jail. 

" He served as county commissioner for Indiana County for the years 
1809, 1810, and 181 1. He was actively engaged in educational matters, and 
was one of the pioneer trustees for the Indiana Academy, incorporated March 
28, 1814. I find in his diary that he was actively and regularly preaching in 
and around Kittanning from 181 3 to January 8, 181 5; in Freeport region, in 
1813-14; and what is now West Union, and in Conemaugh, Plumville, and 
Crete, up to 1816. His services in these years were held in cabins and barns 
and log churches. His pioneer home farm in Conemaugh Township, Indiana 
County, was first assessed to him in Indiana County, in 1805, along with two 
horses and three cows, valued at seven hundred and fifty-nine dollars. This 
homestead of two htuidred and seventy-six acres continued to be occupied by 
and assessed to him until 1818, when he removed to within a mile of Crete, 
where he lived until he died, March 12, 1 821, at the age of seventy-four years, 
and was buried at Crete church, Indiana County, Pennsylvania. His Cone- 
maugh property, after 18 18, became the Archibald Coleman homestead, and 
is now owned by William Irwin and occupied by a tenant." 

THE CUMBERLAND PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 

This church originated in a religious camp-meeting held in Kentucky 
and Tennessee in 1801-03. In 1810 these religious enthusiasts organized 
themselves into a distinct and separate body. In i860 they had seventeen 
synods, forty-eight presbyteries, one thousand churches, three hundred min- 
isters, and one hundred thousand members. 

275 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

THE PRESBYTERIAN WAS THE PIONEER CHURCH IN THIS WILDERNESS 

The pioneer Presbyterian preaching in America was in Philadelphia, in 
1698. In 1704 they erected a frame church on Market Street, and called it 
Buttonwood. The pioneer presbytery was in Philadelphia about the year 
1705. In 1716 the pioneer synod was held, with the representation of twenty- 
five churches. In 1729 the Westminster Confession and Catechisms were 
formally adopted. In 1741 a schism on educational questions took place, but 
was healed in 1758. The first General Assembly met in 1789, and the con- 
fession and catechisms were again adopted, with some slight changes. 

Presbyterianism, David's Psalms, and the Catechism was the pioneer 
service and creed in all this wilderness. The usual salary of a minister in 
pioneer days was four hundred dollars a year for full time. This was gen- 
erally divided among two or more churches. 

PIONEER BAPTIST CHURCH IN NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA, 1780-185O 

" In most of the colonies the Baptists were persecuted. In Rhode Island 
they were especially numerous. They had much to do with that agitation 
for religious liberty which culminated in the passage of the first ariiendment 
to the Constitution of the United States. In 1762 there were fifty-six Bap- 
tist churches in the region now occupied by the United States ; in 1792, 1000; 
in 1812, 2433; in 1832, 5322; in 1852,9500." 

The pioneer Baptist preaching in Pennsylvania was at Cold Spring, 
Bucks County, in 1684, by Rev. Thomas Dungan. This church died in 1702. 

The pioneer Baptist preacher to have services in what is now Cameron, 
Elk, Forest, and Jefferson Counties was the Rev. Jonathan Nichols, who 
settled on the Turley farm, above Weedville, in 1817, then Clearfield County. 
In 1821 he moved to Brandycamp, now Elk County. As a clergyman his 
ministrations were generally well accepted, and his meetings were as well 
attended as could be in a country so sparsely settled ; people frequently went 
six or eight miles to meeting. In the winter their carriages were sleds drawn 
by oxen; in the summer men, women, and children could walk nine or ten 
miles and home again the same day. Rev. Jonathan Nichols was a regu- 
larly ordained Baptist minister, and an educated physician. He migrated to 
what is now Elk County from Connecticut. He died in 1846, aged seventy- 
one years. His wife Hannah died in 1859, aged eighty-two years. His home 
was the late P. B. Little farm on Brandycamp. As a physician his labors 
were extended, and his ministry was well received by the scattered people 
of all beliefs. For a while he clung to the close communion, but, owing 
to the diiferent beliefs adhered to by his hearers, he, after a few years, invited 
all Christian people who attended his services to the " Lord's table." His 
daughter told me his heart would not let him do otherwise. One who knew 
him well wrote of him : " He was a generous, kind-hearted gentleman, genial 
and urbane in his manners, with a helping hand ready to assist the needy, 

276 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

and had kind words to comfort the sorrowing." Winter's snow never de- 
terred him from pastoral work or visits to the sick. 

PIONEER ORGANIZATION OF THE CLARION BAPTIST ASSOCIATION, HELD AT 
BROOKVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA, JUNE I AND 2, 1838 

On Friday, June i, 1838, pursuant to adjournment, the Association con- 
vened in Brookville, Jefferson County, Pennsylvania. Rev. Thomas Wilson 
preached the introductory sermon, from Job thirty-third chapter and twenty- 
fourth verse. The moderator and clerk of the preparatory meeting of 1837 
took their seats, and, after prayer by Rev. Samuel D. Morris, of Brookville, 
the letters from churches were read, and the names of the ministers and 
messengers present were enrolled. Each church was entitled to four mes- 
sengers. 

The following churches were represented: Zion church, Armstrong 
County (constituted June 21, 1821), by Rev. Thomas E. Thomas and Rev. 
S. Messenger, ordained ministers; messengers, or lay delegates, Amos Wil- 
liams, William Corbet, and William Frampton; post-office, Strattonville, 
Pennsylvania. Red Bank church, Armstrong County (constituted May, 
1837), by Rev. Thomas Wilson, ordained minister; messengers, I. Moor- 
head, T. Buzard, J. Putney; post-office. Red Bank, Pennsylvania. Ma- 
honing church, Indiana County (constituted April, 1830), by Rev. Thomas 
Wilson, ordained minister; messengers, Jacob Keel, Thompson Hays; 
post-office, Smicksburg, Pennsylvania. Brookville church, Jefferson County 
(constituted May, 1837), by Rev. Samuel D. Morris, licensed minister; 
messengers, Michael Troy, James M. Craig, William Humphrey; post-office, 
Brookville, Pennsylvania. Gethsemane church, now Aliens Mills, Jefferson 
County (constituted June, 1834), by Rev. Samuel Miles, ordained minister; 
messenger, G. Wilson; post-office, Brookville, Pennsylvania. Curwensville 
church, Clearfield County (constituted August, 1836), by no minister; mes- 
senger, N. Lawhead; post-office, Curwensville, Pennsylvania. 

Brother Amos Williams was then chosen moderator, and Samuel D. 
Morris, of Brookville, clerk. Brothers Miles, Wilson, Williams, and Morris 
were appointed a committee to arrange the business and preaching for this 
session. 

The Association was called Clarion, I suppose because " Clarion" means 
" a trumpet of a clear, shrill tone." Clarion County was not formed until 
March 11, 1839. 

A constitution for the Association was adopted. Articles of Faith an- 
nounced and promulgated, and Rules of Decorum for the Association adopted, 
" and to be read at the opening of every session and left on the table for the 
perusal of the members." It was further agreed, that " the next meeting of 
the Association be held with Zion church, Armstrong (now Clarion) County, 
on Friday preceding the first Lord's day in October, 1839," Rev. Samuel 

277 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

Miles to preach the introductory sermon at that time, and Rev. Thomas 
Wilson to write the circular letter. 

The following sums were received for printing minutes, — viz., Zion 
church, two dollars and fifty cents; Red Bank church, one dollar and fifty 
cents; Mahoning church, one dollar and seventy-five cents; Brookville 
church, one dollar; Gethsemane, one dollar and fifty cents; and Curwens- 
ville, one dollar. William Frampton was appointed treasurer ; William King, 
Jr., to be stated clerk for the Association, post-office, Greenville, Armstrong 
County, Pennsylvania (now Limestone, Clarion County, Pennsylvania). 
Brother James M. Craig was authorized to have three hundred copies of 
the minutes printed, and to distribute them. Several resolutions in regard to 
missionary work, religious periodicals, etc., were read and adopted. 

PIONEER LUTHERAN EVANGELICAL CHURCH IN NORTHWESTERN PENNSYL- 
VANIA, 1780-185O 

The pioneer Lutheran preaching in North America was in what is now 
New York (then New Amsterdam), in 1624. This service had to be held in 
a private house, and, as there was no religious liberty in that colony then, some 
of these early Lutherans who attended this service were imprisoned, and the 
pastor sent back to Holland. In 1638 a colony of Swedes settled at what is 
now Wilmington, Delaware. They erected a fort, called it Christina, and 
in the chapel of that fort celebrated their religious services in 1639, the Rev. 
Reorus Torkillus being the pastor. It was not, however, until 1742 that the 
church was really organized in America. On September 25, 1742, the Rev. 
Henry Melchior Muhlenberg located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as a 
missionary, and commenced his work. He is considered the patriarch of the 
church in North America. The pioneer synod was held in Philadelphia in 
1748. 

PIONEER METHODISM 

" This denomination first assumed its present name at the conference 
held in 1784. Previous to that time the scattered followers of this belief 
had met in societies, like those established in Great Britain by Rev. John 
Wesley. At the same conference the church was organized for missionary 
and pioneer work under charge of bishops sent to this country by Mr. Wesley, 
who was recognized as the spiritual father of the denomination. Its success 
during the next few years was remarkable. The zeal and energy of its 
preachers and the work of the lay members brought about within sixteen 
years an increase of membership and preachers almost fourfold. This church 
was the first officially to acknowledge the United States Constitution, and 
was very active in every antislavery movement. The first session of its Gen- 
eral Conference was held in 1792, at which time the membership was about 
one hundred and ninety-five thousand. In 1843 the abolitionist party in the 

278 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

church withdrew in dissatisfaction and founded the Wesleyan Methodist con- 
nection. Two years later the Southern Methodists, dissatisfied in their turn, 
separated and formed the Methodist Episcopal Church South."— Dictionary 
United States History. 

On March 7, 1736, John Wesley preached the pioneer Methodist sermon 
in America, in Savannah, Georgia. Another early Methodist service in 
the United States was conducted in New York city by a Mr. Embury, aided 
and assisted by Barbara Heck. Barbara Heck emigrated from Ireland to 
New York in 1765. From her zeal, activity, and pious work as a Christian 
she is called the mother of American Methodism. Methodism was intro- 
duced into Pennsylvania in 1767 by Captain Thomas Webb, a soldier in the 
British army. Web was a preacher, and is called the apostle of American 
Methodism. In 1767 he visited Philadelphia, preached, and formed a class 
of seven persons. The first Annual Conferences of the Methodist Church 
held in America were in Philadelphia, — viz., in the years 1773, 1774, and 1775. 
After this year all Conferences were held in Baltimore, Maryland, until the 
organization of the Church in the New World. 

The pioneer Methodist preaching in Pennsylvania was in Philadelphia, 
in a sail-loft near Second and Dock Streets. St. John's Church was established 
in 1769. Methodism was to be found in Philadelphia in 1772, York in 1781, 
Wilkesbarre in 1778, Williamsport in 1791, and in Pittsburg in 1801. 

The pioneer Sunday-school in the world was opened at Glencastle, in 
England, in 1781, by Robert Raikes. The idea was suggested to him by a 
young woman, who afterwards became Sophia Bradburn. This lady assisted 
him in the opening of the iirst school. The pioneer Sunday-schools were 
started in the New World in 1790 by an official ordinance of the Methodist 
Conference establishing Sunday-schools to instruct poor children, white and 
black : " Let persons be appointed by the bishops, elders, deacons, or preachers 
to teach (gratis) all that will attend and have a capacity to learn, from six 
o'clock in the morning till ten, and from two o'clock in the afternoon until 
six, when it does not interfere with public worship." 

The Methodist Church was really the first temperance organization in 
America. The general rules of the society prohibited the use of liquor as a 
beverage. Other modern temperance organizations are supposed to have 
their beginning about 181 1. But little was done after this period outside of 
the churches for about twenty-five years. 

Rev. William Watters was the pioneer American, itinerant, Methodist 
preacher. He was born in Baltimore County, Maryland, October 16, 1751. 

Until 1824 Western Pennsylvania, or " all west of the Susquehanna 
River, except the extreme northern part, was in the Baltimore Conference." 
In 1824 the Pittsburg Conference was organized, and our wilderness came 
under its jurisdiction. In 1833 the first Methodist paper under the authority 
of the church was started. It was in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and the paper 

279 



HISTORY or NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

is now called the Pittsburg Christian Advocate. In 1836 the Erie Con- 
ference was formed. 

Methodism in Northwestern Pennsylvania has been, first, in the Balti- 
more Conference; second, in the Pittsburg Conference; and is now in the 
Erie Conference. 

The Methodists were slow in making an inroad in the northwest. The 
ground had been occupied by other denominations, and a hostile and bitter 
prejudice existed against the new " sect." 

The pay of the pioneer Methodist ministers and preachers, and for their 
wives and children, was as follows : 

" 1800. — ' I . The annual salary of the travelling preachers shall be eighty 
dollars and their travelling expenses. 

" ' 2. The annual allowance of the wives of travelling preachers shall be 
eighty dollars. 

" ' 3. Each child of a travelling preacher shall be allowed sixteen dollars 
annually to the age of seven years, and twenty-four dollars annually from 
the age of seven to fourteen years ; nevertheless, this rule shall not apply to 
the children of preachers whose families are provided for by other means in 
their circuits respectively. 

" ' 4. The salary of the superannuated, worn-out, and supernumerary 
preachers shall be eighty dollars annually. 

" ' 5. The annual allowance of the wives of superannuated, worn-out, 
and supernumerary preachers shall be eighty dollars. 

" ' 6. The annual allowance of the widows of travelling, superannuated, 
worn-out, and supernumerary preachers shall be eighty dollars. 

" ' 7. The orphans of travelling, superannuated, worn-out, and super- 
numerary preachers shall be allowed by the Annual Conference, if possible, 
by such means as they can devise, sixteen dollars annually.' 

" i804.~The following inserted in clause 3, before ' nevertheless' : ' and 
those preachers whose wives are dead shall be allowed for each child annually 
a sum sufficient to pay the board of such child or children during the above 
term of years.' 

" The following added at the close of the section : 

" ' 8. Local preachers shall be allowed a salary in certain cases as men- 
tioned.' 

" 1816.—' The allowance of all preachers and their wives raised to one 
hundred dollars.' 

" 1824.— Under clause 2 (allowance to wives) it is added ' But this 
provision shall not apply to the wives of those preachers who were single 
when they were received for trial, and marry under four years, until the 
expiration of said four years.' 

"i828 -The seventh clause (relating to orphans) was altered so as to 
read as follows : 

280 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" ' 7. The orphans of travelling, supernumerary, superannuated, and 
worn-out preachers shall be allowed by the Annual Conferences the same 
sums respectively which are allowed to the children of living preachers. 
And on the death of a preacher, leaving a child or children without so much 
of worldly goods as should be necessary to his or her or their support, the 
Annual Conference of which he was a member shall raise, in such manner 
as may be deemed best, a yearly sum for the subsistence and education of 
such orphan child or children, until he, she, or they shall have arrived at 
fourteen years of age, the amount of which yearly sum shall be fixed by the 
committee of the Conference at each session in advance.' 

" 18^2. — The following new clause was inserted : 

" ' 8. The more effectually to raise the amount necessary to meet the 
above-mentioned allowance, let there be made weekly class collections in 
all our societies where it is practicable ; and also for the support of missions 
and missionary schools under our care.' 

" 18^6. — The regulation respecting those who marry ' under four years' 
was struck out, and bishops mentioned by name as standing on the same 
footing as other travelling preachers. Clauses i, 2, 4, and 5 thrown into 
two, as follows : 

" ' I. The annual allowance of the married travelling supernumerary, 
and superannuated preachers and the bishops shall be two hundred dollars 
and their travelling expenses. 

" ' 2. The annual allowance of the unmarried travelling, supernumerary, 
and superannuated preachers and the bishops shall be one hundred dollars 
and their travelling expenses.' 

" The pioneer members were prohibited from wearing ' needless orna- 
ments, such as rings, earrings, lace, necklace, and ruffles.' " — Strickland's 
History of Discipline. 

PIONEER AND EARLY CAMP-MEETINGS 

The pioneer camp-meeting in this wilderness was held at Meadville, in 
the fall of 1826. 

The pioneer camp-meeting in the United States was held, between 1800 
and 1801, at Cane Ridge, in Kentucky. It was under the auspices of several 
different denominational ministers. The meeting was kept up day and night. 
It was supposed that there were in attendance -during the meetings from 
twelve to twenty thousand people. Stands were erected through the woods, 
from which one, two, three, and four preachers would be addressing the 
thousands at the same time. It was at this place and from this time that 
our camp-meetings took their rise. 

Evans, the Shaker historian, who is strong in the gift of faith, tells us 
that "the subjects of this work were greatly exercised in dreams, visions, 
revelations, and the spirit of the prophecy. In these gifts of the Spirit they 

281 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

saw and testified that the great day of God was at hand, that Christ was about 
to set up his kingdom on earth, and that this very work would terminate in 
the full manifestation of the latter day of glory." 

From another authority, endowed perhaps with less fervor but with more 
of common sense, we get a description of these " exercises," which has a 
familiar ring that seems to bring it very near home. " The people remained 
on the ground day and night, listening to the most exciting sermons, and 
engaging in a mode of worship which consisted in alternate crying, laughing, 
singing, and shouting, accompanied with gesticulations of a most extraor- 
dinary character. Often there would be an unusual outcry, some bursting 
forth into loud ejaculations of thanksgiving, others exhorting their careless 
friends to ' turn to the Lord,' some struck with terror and hastening to escape, 
others trembling, weeping, and swooning away, till every appearance of life 
was gone and the extremities of the body assumed the coldness of a corpse. 
At one meeting not less than a thousand persons fell to the ground, apparently 
without sense or motion. It was common to see them shed tears plentifully 
about an hour before they fell. They were then seized with a general tremor, 
and sometimes they uttered one or two piercing shrieks in the moment of 
falling. This latter phenomenon was common to both sexes, to all ages, and 
to all sorts of characters. 

" After a time these crazy performances in the sacred name of religion 
became so much a matter of course that they were regularly classified in 
categories as the rolls, the jerks, the barks, etc. The rolling exercise was 
effected by doubling themselves up, then rolling from one side to the other 
like a hoop, or in extending the body horizontally and rolling over and over 
in the filth like so many swine. The jerk consisted in violent spasms and 
twistings of every part of the body. Sometimes the head was twisted round 
so that the face was turned to the back, and the countenance so much dis- 
torted that not one of its features was to be recognized. When attacked by 
the jerks they sometimes hopped like frogs, and the face and limbs under- 
went the most hideous contortions. The bark consisted in throwing them- 
selves on all-fours, growling, showing their teeth, and barking like dogs. 
Sometimes a number of people crouching down in front of the minister con- 
tinued to bark as long as he preached. These last were supposed to be more 
especially endowed with the gifts of prophecy, dreams, rhapsodies, and visions 
of angels." 

Exactly when the pioneer camp-meeting was held in Jefferson County 
is unknown to me. Darius Carrier advertised one in the Jeifersonim as 
early as 1836, to be held near Summerville. The first one I remember was 
near Brookville, on the North Fork, on land now owned by F. Swartzlander. 
Others were held near Roseville, and in Perry Township and kindred points. 
The rowdy element attended these services, and there was usually a good 
deal of disturbance from whiskey and fights, which, of course, greatly annoyed 

282 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

the good people. The first " Dutch camp-meeting" was held in what is 
now Ringgold Township. In fact, these German meetings were only aban- 
doned a few years ago. I reproduce a " Dutch camp-meeting hymn" : 

" CAMP-MEETING HYMN 

" Satan and I we can't agree, 
Halleo, halleolujah! 
For I hate him and he hates me, 
Halleo, halleolujah! 

" I do believe without a doubt, 
Halleo, halleolujah ! 
The Christian has a right to shout, 
Halleo, halleolujah! 

" We'll whip the devil round the stump, 
Halleo, halleolujah ! 
And hit him a kick at every jump, 
Halleo, halleolujah." 

The mode of conducting our wood-meetings was patterned after the 
original in Kentucky. The manner of worship and conversions were the 
same, and while a great deal of harsh criticism has been made against this 
mode of religious worship, there is one thing that must be admitted, — ^many 
bad, wicked persons were changed into good religious people. Pitch-pine 
fagots were burned at night to light the grounds. 

ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH 

The pioneer Catholic service in Pennsylvania was in Philadelphia, in 
1780. The pioneer priest was either Poly carp Wickstead, or James Had- 
dock. The pioneer church erected in Pennsylvania was St. Joseph's, in 
Philadelphia. 




CHAPTER XIV 



PIONEER CIRCUIT COURTS PIONEER CIRCUIT JUDGES PRESIDENT AND ASSO- 
CIATES — ;PIONEER BAR AND EARLY LAWYERS 

The first legislation creating a judiciary in this State was called the 
provincial act of March 22, 1722. This court was styled " The Court of 
Quarter Sessions of the Peace and Gaol Delivery.'' The Orphans' Court 
was established in 1713. The constitution of 1776 provided for the con- 
tinuance of these courts. By the constitution adopted in 1790 the judicial 
power of the State was vested in a Supreme Court, in a Court of Oyer and 
Terminer and General Jail Delivery, Common Pleas, Quarter Sessions, 
Orphans' Court, and Register Court for each county, and for justices of the 
peace for boroughs and townships. The early judges were appointed by the 
governor. 

In 1806, for the more convenient establishment of the Supreme Court, 
the State was made into two districts,— viz., the Eastern and Western. The 
salary of a county associate judge was one hundred and fifty dollars per year. 

Both the president judge of a district and the associate judges for a 
county were appointed in this State until 1850, when the State constitution 
was changed to make them elective. The term of the president judge ran 
ten years, but the term of the associates was for five. The president circuit 
judge's salary was sixteen hundred dollars a year and mileage. 

Pennsylvania has had four constitutions. The first one, September 28, 
1776. Under this constitution the General Assembly consisted of but one 
house. The members were elected yearly. The laws were called " Acts of 
Assembly." A new constitution was formed in 1790, when the Senate body 
of the Legislature was created. Under this constitution a free colored man 
could vote at any election in the State, hence all pubHc notices were addressed 
to the freemen of the locality. 

The third revision was in 1838. Under this constitution the free colored 
man was denied his vote. All life offices were aboHshed. 

In 1838 the amended constitution as adopted limited the rights of any 
one man to serve in the office of governor to six years out of nine. Under the 
first constitution of 1790 the limit of service in this office was nine years out 
of twelve. It was customary then in Pennsylvania to publish laws and public 
documents m separate books, in English and German. The debates of the 
1838 convention were so published. 

284 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

Up to 1840 the judges were all appointed by the governor with the 
advice and consent of the Senate. Supreme Court judges were appointed 
for fifteen years, district judges of the Court of Common Pleas were appointed 
for ten years, and the associate judges were appointed for five. 

The fourth revision was in 1873, One of the principal points in this 
constitution was to restrict local legislation, and under it the colored man 
was again given his right to vote. From 1843 to 1850 members of the 
Legislature received one dollar and fifty cents per day; in 1850 their pay was 
increased to three dollars per day for one hundred days, and one dollar and 
fifty cents per day for every day after that in session. 

By an act of the General Assembly of April 13, 1791, the counties of 
Westmoreland, Fayette, Washington, and Allegheny constituted the Fifth 
Judicial District, and on March 26, 1804, Jefferson County was attached to 
Westmoreland for judicial purposes. On June 2, 1803, Samuel Roberts was 
commissioned President Judge for the Fifth Judicial District, by Governor 
McKean. This Samuel Roberts was Jefferson's pioneer territorial judge 
until March 10, 1806. Judge Roberts was an able jurist and a literary man 
of note. He compiled and published, in 1817, a text-work on law, a digest 
of the British statutes, with notes and illustrations. Samuel Roberts was 
born in Philadelphia, September 10, 1761, and as judge he continued to 
preside in Allegheny County until his death, in 1820. 

By an act of Assembly of February, 24, 1806, the counties of Somerset, 
Cambria, Indiana, Armstrong, and Westmoreland were made into the Tenth 
Judicial District, and John Young, of Westmoreland, was commissioned Judge 
for that district March i, 1806. 

By an act of Assembly of March 10, 1806, the county of Indiana was 
organized for judicial purposes, to take effect the first Monday in November, 
1806. 

By an act of Assembly of March 10, 1806, Jefferson County was annexed 
to the county of Indiana, and the authority of the county commissioners and 
other county officers of said Indiana County was extended over and within 
the county of Jefferson. Jefferson remained annexed to Indiana County 
until 1824, and for judicial purposes alone until, by act of Assembly, April 
2, 1830, to organize the provisional county of Jefferson for judicial purposes, 
it was stipulated in Section 2 that the county should be attached to and form 
part of the Fourth Judicial District, and that the president judge of the 
Fourth Judicial District, and the associates to be appointed, shall have like 
power as other counties, etc., on and after the first Monday in October, to do 
and perform all duties, etc. Hon. Thomas Bumside, of Bellefonte, Centre 
County, was then the president judge of this Fourth Judicial District, com- 
posed of MifHin, Center, Huntingdon, and Bedford Counties, and by this 
act of the Legislature he was made the pioneer judge to hold court in and 
for Jefferson County. Hon. Thomas Burnside was born in the county of 

285 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

Tyrone, Ireland, July 28, 1782. His father emigrated to Philadelphia, Penn- 
sylvania, in 1792. 

In 1800 Burnside read law with Hon. Robert Porter, of Philadelphia, 
who died suddenly in Brookville in 1842, being found dead in his bed in 
the morning at the Red Lion Tavern, kept by John Smith. Judge Porter 
stopped off the stage to rest over night while travelling through this wilder- 
ness. Porter is buried in the old cemetery. On February 13, 1804, Hon. 
Thomas Burnside was admitted to the Philadelphia bar. In the month of 
March of that year he moved to and settled in Bellefonte, Center County, 
Pennsylvania. In 181 1 he was elected to the State Senate. In 181 5 he was 
sent to Congress. In 1816 he was appointed a president judge. In 1823 he 
was again elected a State Senator. and made Speaker. In 1826 he was again 
appointed president judge, and in 1845 he was commissioned judge for the 
Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. 

In stature Judge Burnside was of medium height, dark complexioned, 
and very homely. He was a learned lawyer, an able jurist, and a kind, 
honest, open-hearted gentleman. He served as judge in Jefferson County 
until September i, 1835, when the Eighteenth Judicial District was organized. 
Like other judges of his period, he could get " drunk through and through" 
every court week. 

THE EIGHTEENTH DISTRICT 

By an act passed April 8, 1833, the counties of Potter, McKean, Warren, 
and Jefferson were made the Eighteenth Judicial District, from and after 
September i, 1835, ^"d the governor was required to appoint a president 
judge for the district, and Nathaniel B. Eldred, of McKean County, was 
appointed judge November 10, 1835. Judge Eldred resigned in 1839. He 
died January 27, 1867. 

COURTS WITHIN THE EIGHTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT IN 1837 

Warren County. — The court at Warren, for Warren County, will be held 
on the first Mondays of March, June, September, and December. 

Jefferson County. — ^At Brookville, for Jefferson County, the second Mon- 
days of February, May, September, and December. 

McKean County. — At Smethport, for McKean County, the Mondays 
immediately after the courts in Brookville. 

Potter County. — At Coudersport, for Potter County, on the Mondays 
immediately after the courts in McKean County. 

Hon. Nathaniel B. Eldred, President Judge of said courts. 

Alexander McCalmont, of Franklin, Venango County, was appointed 
judge May 31, 1839, and served until 1849. As an illustration of the man, 
and his manner of holding court, I give an incident that occurred in Ridgway, 
Elk County, in 1844, while he was holding the pioneer court there. 

286 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

The pioneer court crier was Nathaniel Hyatt, of Kersey, and he, like 
everybody else in those days, was fond of attending court for the sake of 
visiting, seeing the judge, telling stories, and " smiling with his neighbors." 

Mr. Hyatt was a large man, peculiar, and had a coarse voice. Judge 
Alexander McCalmont, of Venango, was on the bench, a very easy-going, 
mild-mannered man. 

One day while the court was in session Mr. Hyatt was busy telling a 
bevy of neighbors some stories in the court-room and talking loud. The 
judge thought there was a little too much noise in court, and, to personally 
reprimand Mr. Hyatt, he commenced " a rapping, gently tapping, tapping," 
three times on the desk and addressing Mr. Hyatt thus : " Crier, there is a 
little too much noise in court." 

Promptly Mr. Hyatt responded by stamping his right foot violently on 
the floor, and in his loud, coarse voice exclaimed, " Let there be silence in 
court. What the hell are you about?" 

Joseph Buffington, of Kittanning, Armstrong County, was appointed 
judge June i, 1849, to serve until the end of the next session of the State 
Senate. He was reappointed January 15, 1850. Under the amended consti- 
tution of the State the president judge was made elective for ten years, and 
the associates for five. 

Eminent lawyers then attended all courts in the district They rode in 
the stage or on horseback, wore green leggings, and carried their papers, 
books, etc., in large leather saddle-bags. Most of these circuit lawyers were 
very polite gentlemen, and particular not to refuse a " drink." 

CRIME 

From 1778 to 1855, inclusive, three hundred and twenty-eight persons 
were hanged in Pennsylvania. Of these, five suffered the penalty of death for 
high treason, eight for robbery, fourteen for burglary, three for assault, one 
for arson, four for counterfeiting, and seven for unknown offences. On 
April 22, 1794, the death penalty was abolished except for murder in the 
first degree. Before 1834 hangings took place in public, and since then in 
jail-yards or corridors. 

I will here give a sample of justice in 1784. Joe Disbury was tried in 
Sunbury for thievery, etc., found guilty, and sentenced to receive thirty- 
nine lashes, stand in the pillory one hour, have his ears cut off and nailed to 
the post, and be imprisoned three months and pay a fine of thirty pounds. 



2S7 



CHAPTER XV 



THE PIONEER DOCTOR IN NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA BROOKVILLE's 

PIONEER resurrection; or, "who SKINNED THE NIGGER?" THE TRUE 

STORY OF THE ORIGIN OF THE STATE ANATOMICAL LAW 

Medicine was practised by the Egyptian priests. Moses, the Law-giver, 
was a doctor and learned in all the arts of the Egyptians. 

The pioneer and early doctor was a useful citizen, and his visits to the 
early settlers when afflicted was a great comfort. How we all long now 
to see the doctor when we are sick! These isolated people longed just the 
same for the coming of their doctor. The science of medicine then was 
very crude, and the art of it very imperfect, hence the early practitioner 
had but limited skill; yet, while exercising whatever he professed for the 
relief of suffering, his privations and labor while travelling by night or day 
on horseback with his " old pill-bags" were hard and severe in the extreme. 
The extent of his circuit was usually from fifty to one hundred miles over 
poor roads and paths, swimming his horse through creeks and rivers as best 
he could. I have travelled a circuit of one hundred miles in my day. In 
those days every one had respect for the doctor, and every family along 
his circuit was delighted with an opportunity to extend free hospitality to 
the doctor and his horse. 

When I commenced the practice of medicine, I had to ride on horseback. 
My field extended all through and over Jefferson, Forest, Elk, as well as 
the western part of Clearfield County. My rides were long, day and night, 
through rain, mud, sleet, cold, snow, and darkness, with no rubber garments 
to protect me from storms. I have travelled the creek beds, forded and 
swam my horse when the rivers were in rafting stage, rode over paths, 
and ridden many a time from dark until daylight all alone through the wilder- 
ness, twenty, thirty, or forty miles, stopping about midnight at some cabin 
to give my horse a little feed. 

In those days there was no telegraph, telephone, or daily mail through 
which to summon a doctor, but a neighbor had to be sent on foot or on horse- 
back to find a physician, and tiot to come back without him. I was a good 
practical botanist, and used mostly herbs and roots ; these I gathered in the 
spring, summer, and fall. Recipes were the fad then. One of my preceptors 
had a book of these, which I carefully copied, and any others I could find. 
Medical colleges were few, and medical literature was scarce. As doctors 

288 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

we knew but little, and had to rely on what common-sense we possessed. My 
partner, Dr. Niver, made what he called " devil's broth." It was a mixed 
decoction of about all our roots and herbs, to be administered, as he said, 
" with the hope that some one of the ingredients would hit the disease." 

Medicine and its practice was about all theory ; remedies were crude and 
drastic; instruments few, imperfect, and clumsy. I feel amazed when I think 
how ignorant I was, yet I tied arteries, set broken bones, amputated limbs, 
saved lives ! The pioneer doctor unselfishly responded to all calls, asking no 
questions as to pay, and performing more free labor for humanity than all 
other classes of men combined. 

In learning the art I rode with m\- preceptor. In some of my long rides I 
have become so tired about midnight that I felt I could not go a step farther, 
when I would dismount from my horse, hitch him to a log on the outside 
of a log-barn, slip the bridle around his neck, climb into the mow, throw the 
horse an armful of hay, and then fall asleep in the hay, only to awaken when 
the sun was an hour or two high. The pioneer doctor carried his pill-bags 
well stocked with calomel, Dover's powder, tartar emetic, blistering salve, a 
pair of old turnkeys for extracting teeth, and spring- and thumb-lancets for 
bleeding purposes, as everybody had to be bled, sick or well. Twenty-five 
cents was the fee for bleeding, and the amount of blood drawn from the arm 
was from half a pint to a quart. The custom of bleeding sick or well fell 
into disrepute about 1850. A town visit was from twenty-five to fifty cents, 
a visit in the country twenty-five cents a mile, an obstetric fee five dollars. 
The pioneer doctor always wore green leggings or corduroy overalls. I was 
no exception to this rule. Sanitary science was unknown fifty years ago. 

THE OLD-FASHIONED DOCTOR, BY H. C. DODGE 

"He'd stalk to our crib-side and order" us gruffly 

To stick out our tongue, which we'd do with such dread. 
And give, while he handled our pulses so roughly, 
An ominous shake of his solemn old head. 

" And then, while he listened to mother's description 
Of things we had eaten and what we had done, 
He grimly would write his old Latin prescription 
For nastiest medicines under the sun. 

" Those horrible doses. How mother would scold us, 
And beg us and buy us to take 'em in vain ; 
And oh, how we'd struggle when father would hold us 
And squeeze shut our noses regardless of pain. 

" And, when forced to open our mouths, quickly mother 
Would shove in a spoonful that strangled us till 
We spluttered it out — just in time for another. 
Its vile, deathly taste's in our memory still." 
. 19 289 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" brookville's pioneer resurrection; or, 'who skinned the nigger?' 
— the truth told for the first time, by the only one now living 
of the seven who were engaged in it — the true story of the 
origin of the state anatomical law 

" To everything there is a time and a season." 

" On Sunday morning, November 8, 1857, Brookville was thrown into 
a state of the greatest commotion and excitement, occasioned by the dis- 
covery by W. C. Smith (then a lad of fifteen) of the mutilated remains of a 
human being in an ice-house belonging to K. L. Blood, on the corner of 
Pickering Street and Coal Alley, or where Mrs. Banks now lives. When 
discovered by Smith, the door was broken open, having been forced during 
the night, and the body was found lying on the ice, with a board under the 
shoulders and head, the legs and arms spread apart, the intestines taken out, 
a lump of ice placed in the abdominal cavity, and the body literally skinned, 
the cuticle having been removed entirely from the crown of the head to the 
soles of the feet. 

" Filled with terror, young Smith ran from the spot, telling his discovery 
to all he met. Men, women, and children rushed en masse to the ice-house. 
Thoughts of savage butchery, suicide, and horror took hold of the people. 
Women cried, and men turned pale with indignation. The news of Smith's 
discovery spread like wildfire, and the excitement and indignation became 
more and more intense as hundreds of men, women, and children from the 
town and vicinity gathered around the lonely ice-house. It was at first 
supposed to be murder most foul ; but, on a closer inspection of the ' remains' 
by Henry R. Fullerton, a little ' curly hair,' resembling ' negro wool,' was 
found lying loose near the body. This was a clue. Fullerton then declared 
it was the mutilated corpse of one Henry Southerland, who had died about 
ten days before and been buried in the old graveyard. Tools were at once 
procured by the excited mob, led by Henry R. Fullerton, Cyrus Butler, Sr., 
Richard Arthurs, Esq.', and others, and a rush was made for Southerland's 
grave. Arriving there, and upon the removal of a few shovelfuls of dirt, a 
loose slipper was found, and farther on its mate. When the coffin was 
reached, the body was found to be gone, and only the clothes, torn off, and 
lying inside, were to be seen. What was this desecration for ? Cyrus Butler, 
Sr., a grufif old man, said, ' For money.' He boldly asserted that men nowa- 
days would do anything for money. ' Yes,' he said, ' skin human excrement 
and eat the little end on't.' Soon, in the absence of any better theory, every- 
body seemed to accept his belief, and it was positively asserted from one 
to another that ' a negro hide would sell for five hundred dollars, to make 
razor-strops,' etc. 

" During the entire day the mob were at sea. The officials permitted the 

290 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLA ANIA 

body to remain exposed, — a revolting spectacle to men, women, and children. 
To all of this I was an interested spectator. 

" At nightfall an inquest was summoned of twelve men by Justices John 
Smith and A. J. Brady. 

" coroner's inquest 
Proceedings of the coroner's inquest, held in the borough of Brook- 
ville, upon the body of a man found in the ice-house belonging to K. L. 
Blood, on the corner of Pickering Street and Spring [Coal] Alley, on the 
morning of Sunday, November 8, 1857. 

" ' In pursuance of the summons issued by Justices John Smith and A. J. 
Brady, the following persons were called and sworn, — to wit : E. R. Brady, 
J. J. Y. Thompson, Andrew Craig, John Boucher, Levi A. Dodd, Christopher 
Smathers, Henry R. Fullerton, G. W. Andrews, S. C. Arthurs, John E. 
Carroll, John Ramsey, Daniel Smith, who repaired to the ice-house and made 
an examination of the body there deposited, and found the remains of a male 
human being, with the breast sawed open, the bowels and entrails removed, 
the toe- and finger-nails cut off at the first joint, and the skin of the entire 
body removed. 

"'The grave in which Henry Southerland (colored), of Pine Creek 
Township, had been buried having been opened in the presence of a number 
of the jurors and other persons, and it being found that the body of said 
deceased had been removed from the said grave, the following witnesses were 
called and sworn: 

David Banks, sworn : I helped open the grave in which the body of 
Henry Southerland (colored) had been buried; found no body in the coffin; 
found the burial clothes rolled up in a bundle and placed in the head of the 
coffin ; found one of the slippers in which deceased was buried in the clay 
about a foot above and before coming to the coffin ; the body had evidently 
been removed. 

" ' F. C. Coryell, sworn : Was present at the opening of the grave 
to-day ; saw the coffin opened and no body there ; found the clothes thrown 
in carelessly in a heap ; one slipper with the clothes in the coffin and another 
in the clay some distance above the coffin ; these slippers had my cost mark 
on, and are the same as purchased from me by the friends of Henry Souther- 
land for his funeral. 

" ' A. R. Marlin, sworn : Henry Southerland was buried in the grave- 
yard at Brookville on Wednesday or Thursday last ; helped to bury him ; 
the grave opened to-day is the one in which deceased was placed ; no body 
in the coffin when opened to-day. 

" ' Richard Arthurs, sworn : I examined the body in the ice-house this 
day; looked at the mouth and tongue; they resembled those of a person 
who had died of a disease; two double teeth out; seemed as if they had 
recently been drawn ; found some hair about the back of the neck, which was 

291 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

black and curly ; think it was the hair of a negro, or whiskers ; think this is 
the body of Henry Southerland ; toes, fingers, and skin taken off. 

" ' After making these enquiries and believing the body found in the 
ice-house to be that of Henry Southerland, which had been removed from 
the graveyard in the borough of Brookville, the jury caused the same to be 
taken up and deposited in the coifin, and placed in the grave from which the 
body of said Southerland had been removed, and the same filled up in their 
presence; then returning to the office of John Smith, Esq., a justice of the 
peace, adjourned, to meet at nine o'clock to-morrow (Monday) morning. 

" ' The jury render their verdict as follows : That the body found in the 
ice-house is, to the best of their knowledge and belief, the body of Henry 
Southerland, stolen from the grave in which the same had been deposited; 
and that the skin, bowels, and toe- and finger-nails had been removed by 
some person or persons to the jury unknown. 

" ' E. R. Brady, Foreman. 

December 17, 1857. It is adjudged that there was probable cause for 
holding the inquest. 

" ' By the Court, 

'"J. S. McCalmont.' 

" This coroner's verdict was supposed to have been manipulated by the 
' Masons.' It was the custom then to charge all unpopular verdicts on ' the 
Masons.' 

" After the inquest jurors viewed the body and ice-house on Sunday 
evening, a rope was tied around Southerland's neck, he was dragged into 
Coal Alley, thrown into his coffin, and reburied in the old graveyard, 
where lie 

" ' Hearts once pregnant with celestial fire, 

Hearts that the rod of empire might have swayed, 
Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre.' 

"Who were the ghouls? As usual, stupidity and prejudice came to 
the front, and picked out for vengeance two innocent and inoffensive colored 
men living in the suburbs of the town. 'The law ordained in reverence 
we must hold,' and so on Sunday evening Theresa Sweeney, a sister of 
Southerlafid's, was sent for, and she made information against Charles 
Anderson and John Lewis. Cyrus Butler, Jr., a constable then in Pine Creek 
Township, arrested forthwith these two harmless colored men and thrust them 
into jail. On Monday morning, the 9th, Anderson and Lewis had a hearing 
before Justices Smith and Brady. George W. Ziegler, an able lawyer, 
represented the Commonwealth; but the poor negroes were without friends 
or a lawyer. However, as there was no evidence against them, they were 
discharged. The excitement was now so intense that several newly made 

292 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

graves were opened to see if friends had been disturbed. A few timid 
people placed night-guards in the cemetery. 

■' In commenting on this atrocity, the Jcffersonian said, ' Taking every- 
thing into consideration, it was one of the most inhuman and barbarous acts 
ever committed in a civilized community; and although the instigators and 
perpetrators may escape the punishment which their brutality demands, they 
cannot fail to receive the indignant frowns of an insulted community. They 
may evade a prosecution through the technicalities of the law, and they may 
laugh it off, and when we have no assurance but that our bodies, or those of 
our friends, may be treated in the same manner, cold and hardened must be 
the wretch who does not feel the flame of indignation rise in his breast at 
the perpetration of such an offence. 

Since the above was in type and the excitement somewhat allayed, 
it is now believed by every person that the body was placed in the ice-house 
for dissection, and it is supposed that those who had the matter in charge 
had the key to the door and left everything safe and secure on Saturday 
night, and that some thief, knowing that during the warm weather butter had 
been placed there for protection, broke open the door and entered the place 
for the purpose of stealing, and on striking a light or groping around in 
search of butter, he came across the " dead darky," and, in his haste to get 
away, forgot to shut the door, and we have no doubt that the fellow who 
broke open the door left in a hurry. This is, no doubt, the true state of 
the case.' 

" All this confusion was a good thing for us guilty parties, as it gave 
time for the angry populace to cool off. 

" Who was this Henry Southerland ? He was a stout, perfect specimen 
of physical manhood. He was a son of Charles and Susan Southerland, nee 
Van Camp. Charles Southerland came here in 1812, — a run-away slave. 
Miss Van Camp came to Port Barnett with her father. Fudge Van Camp, 
in 1 80 1. Henry Southerland was bom on the farm now owned by John 
Hoffman. He was a North Forker, and, like the other ' North Fork' boys, 
could drink, swear, wrestle, shoot, jump, ' pull square,' and raft. In the 
latter part of October, 1857, he took the fever and died in a few days, aged 
about thirty years. He lived then on what is called the Charles Horn farm. 
He was married and had one child. His widow and daughter now reside in 
the county, highly respectable people. 

" Dr. J. C. Simons was then living in Brookville, practising medicine 
under his father-in-law. Dr. James Dowling. Simons was ambitious to 
become a surgeon. He believed, like all intelligent doctors then, that a knowl- 
edge of anatomy was the foundation of the healing art. Dissection of human 
bodies then in Pennsylvania was a crime; You could dissect mules and 
monkeys, but not men. It was legal in New York State, and was made so 

2Q3 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

in 1789, to dissect the bodies of executed criminals, and this law in New York 
was greatly improved in 1854. New York was the first State in the New 
World to legalize ' the use of the dead to the living.' Massachusetts in i860 
passed a local law. 

" The first legislation in Pennsylvania looking toward legalized dissection 
locally was in 1867. A member of the House introduced a local law to apply 
to the counties of Philadelphia and Allegheny, — viz., No. 482, ' An Act for the 
promotion of medical science, and to prevent the traffic in human bodies, in 
the city of Philadelphia and the county of Allegheny.' This law passed finally 
and was approved by John W. Geary on the i8th day of March, 1867." 

This law of 1867 was incepted by the Philadelphia College of Physicians, 
manipulated and pushed in and through the Legislature by a committee of that 
body consisting of Drs. D. Hayes Agnew, S. D. Gross, Henry Hartshorn, 
and others. 

Of the members and senators at that time who deserve a special notice 
for services rendered, I mention Dr. Wilmer Worthington, then a senator 
from Chester • County. 

" The first human body dissected was in Alexandria, Egypt, the cradle 
of anatomy. England legalized dissection in 1832. The first subject dissected 
in Jefferson County was in Brookville, in the winter of 1854-55, by Dr. 
George Watt, Dr. McClay, Samuel C. Arthurs, and a student, G. W. Burkett, 
now a doctor in Tyrone City, Pennsylvania. This subject was stolen from a 
graveyard in Clarion County, Pennsylvania. He was an Irishman who froze 
to death. He drank too much water in his whiskey. 

" Ambition is something like love, — laughs at law and takes fearful 
risks. The death of Southerland, Simons thought, was a good chance for 
a subject and a surgical school to advance himself and assist the rest of us. 
On the day of Southerland's death Dr. Simons visited separately each of the 
following doctors in the town, and appointed a meeting to be held on Satur- 
day night, October 31, at ten o'clock, in K. L. Blood's drug-store, for the 
purpose of organizing and resurrecting the dead negro : Drs. J. G. Simons, 
John Dowling, Hugh Dowling, A. P. Heichhold, and W. J. McKnight. By 
request, I secured, on Friday, October 30, permission from Dr. Clarke to use 
for our school the empty house then owned by him, and where John Means 
now lives. Augustus Bell, an educated gentleman from Philadelphia, who lived 
and died here, and K. L. Blood, both medically inclined, were taken in as 
friends. Promptly at ten o'clock, Saturday night, October 31, 1857, all these 
parties .met in council in the drug-store. Simons, the two Dowl'ings, and 
'Little Ball' filled themselves full to the brim with Monongahela whiskey. 
Blood, Heichhold, and McKnight remained dry and took not a drop. At 
about eleven o'clock p.m. we all marched up Pickering Street, with a mattock 
shovel, and rope. John Dowling and I were quite young men, and were 
stationed as watchers, or guards. The others were to resurrect. Simons and 

294 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

' Little Beir worked like ' bees,' and were as brave as lions as long as the 
whiskey stimulated them; but when that died out they kicked and balked 
badly. Mr. Blood then took hold like a hero. He dug, shovelled, broke open 
the coffin, and ' there, down there in the earth's cold breast,' placed the rope 
around the subject and assisted in the resurrection of Southerland. Remem- 
ber this: 

" ' It was a calm, still night, 

And the moon's pale light 

Shone soft o'er hill and dale,' 

when we, seven ghouls, stood around the empty tomb of Henry Souther- 
land. The grave was then hastily filled, and carefully too. The naked corpse 
was now placed on a ' bier.' John Dowling and I took one side, K. L. Blood 
and Simons the other, and under the autumn's full moon we left the grave- 
yard; down Barnett Street, across Coal Alley, across Jefferson Street, down 
to Cherry Alley, at the rear of Judge Clark's property now, and up Cherry 
Alley to the rear of the lot now owned by John Means, and down that lot to 
the kitchen part of the house, into which the body was carried and placed 
in a little bedroom west and south of the kitchen. This was done between 
the hours of one and two a.m., unobserved. Tired and weary, we all went 
home to rest, and expected to open the school on Monday night, the 2d, but_ 
for reasons I will give you farther on this was not done. 

" On the evening of the 2d of November, 1857, my mother called me 
to one side and said, ' You have gotten yourself into trouble. You have been 
out nights. Don't say a word to me, just listen. You have been helping the 
other doctors to dig up Henry Southerland. Dr. Heichhold told Captain 
Wise all about it. Wise told his wife, she told Mrs. Samuel C. Arthurs, she 
told Mrs. Richard Arthurs, and Mrs. Richard Arthurs told me this after- 
noon. Now take care of yourself. As you are poor, you will have to suffer ; 
the others are all rich and influential.' 

" This was a nitroglycerin explosion to me. I made no reply to my 
dear mother, but left for Blood's drug-store, and repeated to him what mother 
had told me. His left hand went up as if struck by a Niagara electric current. 
I said to him, ' I want Dr. Clarke protected now ; Southerland must be re- 
moved from his house.' Blood agreed with me. A caucus was then called for 
that night at the store, when it was decided to remove the body from the house 
down through the cellar and secrete it under those present front steps of John 
Means's house, and there it lay naked from Monday night until Wednes- 
day night, when the cadaver was removed from there to Blood's ice-ihouse, 
in a large coffee-sack, about nine p.m., as follows : McElhose had his printing- 
office in a little building east and on the same lot. It was on that vacant piece 
next to where Corbet's house is now. It was built for and used as a drug- 
store. There was a door upon the west side that opened into the under part 
of the porch and the front steps. If McElhose or any of his imps had ever 

29s 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

opened that door, ' a dreadful sight would have met their startled view.' I 
was a printer and had learned the art in part with McElhose, and I was 
detailed to go into his office and make all kinds of noises and detract the 
attention of the printers from any sounds under the porch. This I did by 
dancing, kicking over furniture, etc. I could hear the other parties at times ; 
but McElhose thought I was drunk, or such a fool that he only watched and 
heard me. Everything worked favorably, and ' Black Hen' was successfully 
removed to a house whose inside walls were frigid and white. ' In the icy 
air of night' the school for dissection was opened on Wednesday and closed 
on Saturday morning. As our secret was known to so many, and realizing 
that we could not dissect in Brookville without being caught up, we only 
skinned the cadaver to prevent identification and for our personal safety. 

"At this time Brookville was full of burglars, thieves, and house- 
breakers. On Friday night, the 6th, A. B. McLain was patrolling for robbers 
in Coal Alley, and under the ' ebon vault of heaven, studded with stars un- 
utterably bright,' he espied what he thought to be three suspicious persons, 
and pounced down on them like a hawk on a chicken. The suspects proved 
to be Drs. Hugh Dowling, Heichhold, and ' Little Bell' (Augustus Bell). Mc- 
Lain was then taken a prisoner by the suspects, dumped into the ice-house, 
and for the first time in his life saw ' a man skinned.' The job was completed 
that night, and the cuticle, toes, fingers, and bowels were buried under a 
large rock in the 'Dark Hollow,' on Saturday forenoon, by Drs. Heichhold 
and John Dowling. 

" For dissection the cadaver is divided into five parts : the head is given 
to one party, the right arm and side to another, the left arm and side to a 
third person, the right leg to a fourth, and the left leg to a fifth. In this 
way Dr. Simons and the four doctors skinned Henry Southerland. For us 
to dissect Southerland would have required about fifteen to twenty days. 

" As dissection is a slow and intricate work, and to avoid discovery and 
arrest, efforts were made to remove as early as possible the subject from 
town. Dr. David Ralston, then practising medicine in Reynoldsville, was 
seen, and he agreed to come after the cadaver and take it home on Saturday 
night, the 7th. Dr. W. H. Reynolds, who resides now (1898) at Prescott- 
ville, this county, was then a young man, living on a farm near Rathmel, and 
Dr. Ralston secured his co-operation. On Saturday these two gentlemen came 
to Brookville with two mules in a wagon, and stopped at the American Hotel, 
J. J. Y. Thompson, proprietor. At a conference of all parties, it was arranged 
that Ralston and Reynolds should drive to the ice-house from the west end 
of Coal Alley about eleven o'clock p.m. They had a large store-box in the 
wagon to carry the corpse. The night was black dark. At ten p.m. J. Y. 
said, ' I'll be danged to Harry, what are so many doctors loafing here to-night 
for ?' A little later, when Ralston ordered out the mules and wagon, Thomp- 
son was perfectly astonished, and exclaimed ' I'll be dod danged to Harl-y 

2q6 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

and dangnation, if you men will leave m)- house at this late hour and this 
kind of a night for Reynoldsville.' But his objections were futile. We ghouls 
were detailed as follows : Blood and Bell as watchers, Heichhold and Hugh 
Dowling to open the ice-house door, and John Bowling and myself to hand 
the ' cadaver' out of the house to the men in the wagon. Explicit directions 
were given to avoid meeting there and forming a crowd. 

" Dr. John Dowling and I were there at our appointed time, but the door 
was unopened, and so we left as instructed. Dr. Heichhold in some way lost 
the key at or near the ice-house, and had to go and find a hatchet to open 
the door. This he did, and the wagon came along, and, finding no one there, 
stopped a moment and left without the subject. On the North Fork bridge 
they pushed their box into the creek. I always felt that Dowling and myself 
were somewhat to blame; but we were young and had received orders not 
to loiter around, and if the door was not opened to leave. 

" About eight or nine o'clock on Sunday morning I went up to Dowling's 
and told John we had better go up and ' view the land.' When we arrived on 
the tragic scene we found the door open and broken. We peeped in, and 
while doing so we observed a boy — William C. Smith — on Pickering Street 
watching us. We walked briskly away up Coal Alley; but our actions and 
the ' broken door' excited Will's curiosity, and, hurrying over to the ice- 
house, he looked in, only to be horrified, and with arms extended toward 
heaven, pale as death, he ran home, exclaiming excitedly to those he met, 
that a man had been ' skinned alive' in Blood's ice-house. He had seen the 
man, and also saw Dr. John Dowling and Tom Espy looking at the man in 
the ice-house. William C. Smith has told his version of the discovery to me 
many times, and always put ' Tom Espy' in my place. He never knew other- 
wise until he read this article. 

" In the evening of Sunday, the 8th, loud mutterings against the doctors 
were heard, and we all hid. I hid in the loft above our old kitchen. At mid- 
night, ' in the starlight,' I left for McCurdy's, in the Beechwoods. Monday 
morning, Blood had business in Pittsburg. David Barclay, a very able man 
and lawyer, was then our member of Congress, and he took charge of the 
prosecution. He and Blood had a political feud, and Barclay thought now 
was his time to annihilate Blood. Hearing of Barclay's activity, my brother, 
the late Colonel A. A. McKnight, then a young lawyer, made information 
against me before Esquire Smith, under the act of 1849, to protect graveyards. 
I returned on Tuesday night, and was arrested, taken before Smith, pleaded 
guilty, and was fined twenty-five dollars and costs, which I paid in full to the 
county commissioners, and I was the only one who had to pay a penalty. Un- 
der the above act the penalty was fine or imprisonment, or both. My convic- 
tion before Smith was to give me the benefit in court of that clause in the 
constitution which says, ' No person for the same offence shall be twice put 
in jeopardy of life or limb.' Barclay was a Republican, Blood was a Demo- 

297 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

crat. I was a Republican, without money or friends, therefore Barclay com- 
menced his prosecution against Blood and me, leaving the others all out for 
witnesses. The criminal records of Justices Smith and Brady for some reason 
have been destroyed, therefore I cannot give them. Barclay kept up his 
prosecution until 1859, as the following legal records of the court show. 

(Copy.) 
" ' No. 14 Feby. 1859. Q- S. 

" ' Commonwealth vs. Kennedy L. Blood and William J. McKnight. 

" ' Indictment for removing a dead body from burial-ground. Prose- 
cutrix, Tracy Sweeney. 

" ' Witnesses, Charles Anderson, F. C. Coryell, L. A. Dodd, John Mc- 
Given, A. P. Heichhold, Richard Arthurs, John Bowling, John Carroll, Wil- 
liam Smith, Thomas Espy, Myron Pearsall, Hugh Bowling, Aug. Beyle, 
William Reynolds, Henry Fullerton, Matthew Bowling, William Russell, 
Sinthy Southerland, Zibion Wilber, James Bowling, A. M. Clarke, George 
Andrews, A. B. McLain, William Lansendofler, I. B. N. Ralston, Charles 
McLain, James McCracken, Charles Matson. In the Court of Quarter Ses- 
sions for the County of Jefferson, February Session, 1859. 

" ' The grand inquest of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, inquiring 
for the body of the county, upon their oaths and affirmations respectfully do 
present, that Kennedy L. Blood and William J. McKnight, late of the County 
of Jefferson, on the fifth day of November, in the year of our Lord one thou- 
sand eight hundred and fifty-seven, with force and arms, at the County of 
Jefferson, the burial-ground of and in the borough of Brookville there situate, 
unlawfully did enter and the grave there in which the body of one Henry 
Southerland deceased had lately before then been interred; and these two, 
with force and arms, unlawfully, wantonly, wilfully, and indecently, did dig 
open, and afterwards, — to wit, on the same day and year aforesaid, — ^with 
force and arms, at the county aforesaid, the body of him, the said Henry 
Southerland, out of the grave aforesaid, unlawfully and indecently, did take 
and carry away, against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth of 
Pennsylvania. 

"'And the grand inquest aforesaid, upon their oaths and affirmation, 
do further present, that Kennedy L. Blood and William J. McKnight, late 
of the County of Jefferson, on the fifth day of November, in the year of our 
Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-seven, with force and arms, at the 
County of Jefferson, the burial-ground of and in the borough of Brookville 
there situate, unlawfully and clandestinely, did enter, and the grave there in 
which the body of one Henry Southerland, deceased, had lately before then 
been interred; and these two, with force and arms clandestinely, did dig 
open, and afterwards,— to wit, on the same day and year aforesaid, with force 
and arms, at the county aforesaid, the body of him, the said Henry Souther- 

298 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

land, out of the grave aforesaid, clandestinely and indecently, did take, remove, 
and carry away, against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth of 
Pennsylvania, and contrary to the form of the statute in such case made and 
provided. 

" ' A. L. Gordon, 

District Attorney. 

" ' Commonwealth vs. K. L. Blood and William J. McKnight. 
" ' In the Court of Quarter Sessions of Jefferson County. 
" ' No. 14 Feby. Session, 1859. Q. S. D. No. 2, page 87. 

Indictment for removing a dead body. Not a true bill. County to 
pay costs. 

" ' William M. Johnson, 

" ' Foreman. 

Received of A. L. Gordon, my costs, Hugh Dowling, Charles Ander- 
son, John E. Carroll, A. P. Heichhold, W. C. Smith, M. A. Dowling, A. B. 
McLain, H. R. FuUerton, M. M. Pearsall. Justice Brady, $4.52 ; attorney, $3.' 

" This indictment was under the act of 1855, ' To protect burial-grounds,' 
the penalty of which was : ' If any person shall open a tomb or grave in 
any cemetery, graveyard, or any grounds set apart for burial purposes, either 
private or public, held by individuals for their own use, or in trust for others, 
or for any church, or institution, whether incorporated or not, without the 
consent of the owners or trustees of such grounds, and clandestinely or un- 
lawfully remove, or attempt to remove, any human body, or part thereof, 
therefrom, such person, upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to undergo 
an imprisonment in the county jail or penitentiary for a term of not less than 
one year, nor more than three years, and pay a fine of not less than one 
hundred dollars, at the discretion of the proper court.' 

" The witnesses before the grand jury were of two kinds, — those who 
knew and those who didn't know. Those who knew refused to testify, on 
the ground of incriminating themselves, and Judge McCalmont sustained 
them. 

" The attorneys for the Commonwealth were A. L. Gordon, district 
attorney, and Hon. David Barclay. Our attorneys were Amor A. McKnight, 
Benjamin F. Lucas, and William P. Jenks. 

" K. L. Blood and Dr. Heichhold, until the day of their death, were 
opposite political party leaders, and whenever either one addressed a political 
assembly some wag or opponent in ambush would always interrogate the 
speaker with ' Who skinned the nigger ?' 

" Before concluding this article it might be well to say that the ' ice- 
house' was never used for any purpose after November 8, 1857. 

299 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYL^'ANIA 

" About the ist of December, 1882, when I was a State Senator, I was 
invited to dine with Professor W. H. Pancoast, of Philadelphia. The city, 
State, and nation was agitated over the robbing of ' Lebanon Cemetery,' in 
that city. It was thought that these subjects were for dissection in Jefferson 
Medical College. Dr. Pancoast was then professor of anatomy in that school. 
While at dinner the question was raised as to what effect this scandal would 
have upon the college. During this talk I broached the idea that now would 
be an opportune time to secure legal dissection for Pennsylvania. The wis- 
dom of my suggestion was doubted and controverted. I defended my posi- 
tion in this wise : The people of the city and State are excited, alarmed, and 
angered, and I would frame the ' act to prevent the traffic in human bodies 
and to prevent the desecration of graveyards.' This would appeal to the 
good sense of the people, as an effort, at least, in the right direction. Dr. 
Pancoast soon coincided with me, and from that moment took an active in- 
terest in the matter. He met with opposition at first from those who ought to 
have supported him; but I assured the doctor if he would get the Phila- 
delphia Anatomical Association of the city to draft a suitable law and send 
it to Senator Reyburn, of that city, I would support it from the country, and 
that we would rush it through the Senate. Dr. Pancoast deserves great 
praise for his energy in overcoming the timidity and fears of the college 
deans and others in the city, and in finally inducing the ' Association' to 
frame the present new and State act and send it to Senator Reyburn. The 
framing of the act was brought about in this wise, — viz. : 

EXTRACTS FROM THE MINUTES OF THE ASSOCIATION 

" ' Philadelphia, December 28, 1882. 
The undersigned request the Distribution Committee of the Anato- 
mist's Association to call a meeting of the Association at an early date to 
consider the propriety of attempting to modify the existing Anatomy Act, 
or to have a new act passed which will increase the legal supply of material. 

" ' John B. Roberts. 
Jno. B. Deaver. 
W. W. Keen.' 

" A special meeting of this Association was called for January 4, 1883, at 
1 1 18 Arch Street. There were present at this meeting Drs. Garretson, Hun- 
ter, Du Bois, Perkins, Hears, and Keen. A committee was appointed to 
draft a new Anatomy Act, consisting of the following : Drs. Hears, Hunter, 
and Keen. On Tuesday, January 9, 1883, this committee read the' draft of 
their act, which was read and finally adopted. 

" John B. Roberts, 

" Secretary. 
300 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" MEETING OF WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 24, 1883 

" The meeting was called to order by the President, and the minutes of 
the previous meeting were read and approved. 

" Present: Drs. Leidy, Forbes, A. R. Thomas, Pancoast, Brinton, Oliver, 
Stubbs, Janney, Hunter, Mears, Roberts, and Keen. 

" The new Anatomy Act, which had been printed and distributed as 
ordered at last meeting, was discussed, and a number of amendments sug- 
gested by the committee of revision were adopted. The last sentence of 
Section VI. (old Section V.) was discussed, and, on motion, its adoption was 
postponed until the next meeting. It was resolved to meet again on Saturday, 
January 27, at same place and hour, because some of the colleges had not had 
time to consider the act in faculty meeting. 

" It was resolved that the colleges and schools be requested to subscribe 
to a fund to meet the necessary expenses of preparing and presenting the Act 
to the Legislature ; the sums apportioned to each were, University, Jefferson, 
and Hahnemann, each twenty-five dollars; Woman's, Pennsylvania Dental, 
Philadelphia Dental, Medico-Chirurgical, each ten dollars; Academy of Fine 
Arts, Pennsylvania School of Anatomy, Philadelphia School of Anatomy, 
each five dollars. 

" Adjourned. " John B. Roberts, 

" Secretary. 

" MEETING OF SATURDAY, JANUARY 27, 1 883 

" The meeting was called to order by the President. On motion of Pro- 
fessor Pancoast, William Janney was appointed secretary pro tempore. The 
minutes of the meeting held January 24 were read and approved. 

" Present : Drs. Leidy, A. R. Thomas, Pancoast, Brinton, Oliver, Stubbs, 
Hunter, Mears, Keen, Agnew, and Janney. 

" Dr. Brinton moved to postpone action on the Act until the Faculty of 
Jefferson College had examined it. Motion debated by Drs. Brinton, Mears, 
Oliver, Stubbs, and Agnew. Motion withdrawn. 

" Motion by Dr. Agnew, seconded by Dr. Mears, that this bill be referred 
back to the Committee, with direction to employ counsel. Adopted. 

" Adjourned to meet at the call of the Committee. 

" William S. Janney, 

" Secretary. 

" MEETING OF TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 1883 

" Called to order by the President. 

" Present : Drs. Leidy, Mears, Hunter, Oliver, Brinton, A. R. Thomas, 
Stubbs, and Roberts. 

" As the minutes of the previous meeting had not been sent by the tem- 
porary secretary, their reading was dispensed with. Dr. Mears reported that 

301 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

a new form of bill had been prepared by the Committee under the legal 
advice of Mr. Gendel and Mr. Sheppard. This was accepted in toto. Moved 
that twenty copies of a petition prepared by Dr. Keen, to accompany the Act, 
be printed and signed by the members of the various faculties and schools. 
Carried. 

"Adjourned to meet Friday at five p.m. at same place. 

" John B. Roberts, 

" Secretary. 



" At a meeting of the Association, February 9, 1883, it was resolved 
that a committee be appointed to present the bill (as then perfected) to 
the Legislature, to consist of one representative from each school, — ^viz., 
Agnew, Brinton, Thomas, Parish, Oliver, Hears, Garretson, Keen, Janney, 
and Roberts. By resolution of that committee, Dr. Leidy was made Chair- 
man ex ofUcio. 

" Furman Sheppard, Esq., put the act in legal form and charged a fee of 
fifty dollars. 

" This State law in Pennsylvania legalizing dissection was passed finally 
on June 4, 1883. Its passage met serious and able opposition in both Houses. 
I firmly believe that had I not been connected with and prosecuted in this 
pioneer resurrection case in Brookville, I would not have been impelled to 
propose such a law or to champion it in the Senate. As introduced by 
Senator Reyburn, the title was, ' Senate bill 117, entitled An Act for the pro- 
motion of medical science, by the distribution and use of unclaimed human 
bodies for scientific purposes, through a board created for that purpose, and 
to prevent unauthorized uses and traffic in human bodies.' This State law 
was incepted and originated in the late residence of Professor W. H. Pan- 
coast, Eleventh and Walnut Streets." 

The petition of Dr. Keen was addressed to senators and members, as 
follows : 

"To the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of 
Pennsylvania. 

" The petition of the undersigned respectfully shows that they present 
herewith the draft of ' An Act for the Promotion of Medical Science by the 
Distribution and use of Unclaimed Human Bodies for Scientific Purposes, 
through a Board created for that Purpose, and to prevent Unauthorized Uses 
and Traffic in Human Bodies,' which they pray your honorable bodies to enact 
into a law for the following reasons : 

" It will increase the necessary facilities for medical education within 
this State, and will materially aid in preventing desecration of burial-grounds. 
Your petitioners do not deem it necessary to argue the point that the repeated 

302 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

dissection of the human body is necessary before any student of medicine 
should be allowed to take charge of the health and lives of the community. 
No woman in childbirth, no person the victim of accident, no suflferer from 
disease, is safe in the hands of men ignorant of the structure of the human 
body. 

"The only proper method to supply this knowledge is to furnish by 
law the bodies of those who have no friends or relatives whose feelings 
could be wounded by their dissection. This was done by the Anatomy Act 
of 1867. But this Act is defective in that its application is limited to the 
counties of Philadelphia and Allegheny, and an adequate supply of unclaimed 
dead human bodies is not furnished, and it does not provide specifically the 
machinery for an equitable distribution- of the dead bodies so given for 
dissection. 

" In the Session of 1881-82 there were in the Dissecting and Operative 
Surgery Classes of the Philadelphia Medical and Dental Colleges 1493 stu- 
dents. Each student pursues his studies in anatomy during two years. If 
he be allowed to dissect one-half of one body a year — including also the 
practice of operations upon the same — this would require 746 dead bodies. 
The professors would need for their lectures about fifty more, making in 
all 796 ' subjects.' But during that same session the number actually avail- 
able for use from all sources was only 405. This is only one-half of the 
smallest number reasonable, to say nothing of the desirableness of a larger 
number to aflford all the facilities a great Commonwealth should give its 
citizens, who can obtain their needful knowledge in no other way that is 
lawful. 

" That it is ' needful' one will readily see when it is remembered that the 
want of such knowledge renders doctors liable to suits for malpractice, which 
suits are upon the calendar of well-nigh every court of the State. The scanty 
supply is due to the fact that the unclaimed dead of one county are the only 
ones that are given for dissection, although the students come from all parts 
of this State in large numbers, as well as from other parts of this and other 
countries. (The present law, it is true, applies to Allegheny County, but this 
is practically of no use to the Philadelphia Colleges.) 

" During the ten years, 1873-1883, at the Jefferson Medical College and 
the University of Pennsylvania alone, out of a total number of over ten thou- 
sand students, there were 2686 from Pennsylvania; of this number, 11 72 
were from Philadelphia and 15 14 from other parts of the State. In view of 
these important facts it would seem but just that the unclaimed and uncared- 
for dead who must be a burden upon the taxpayers of the several counties 
of the State for burial, should be given to the medical schools to supply this 
urgent need for dissecting material by students from every county in the 
State. 

" And your petitioners will ever pray, etc." 

.303 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

This petition was signed by the following physicians : 

UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA 

William Pepper, M.D., Joseph Leidy, M.D., James Tyson M D Theo- 
dore G. Wormley, M.D., D. Hayes Agnew, M.D., William Goodell, M.D 
John Ashhurst, Jr., M.D., H. C. Wood, M.D., R. A. F. Penrose, M.D., Alfred 
Stille, M.D., Harrison Allen, M.D., Charles T. Hunter, M.D. 

JEFFERSON MEDICAL COLLEGE 

S D Gross, M.D., Ellerslie Wallace, M.D., J. M. DaCosta, M.D., Wm. 
H Pancoast, M.D., Robert E. Rogers, M.D., Roberts Bartholow, M.D., 
Henry C. Chapman, M.D., J. H. Brinton, M.D., S. W. Gross, M.D. 

PENNSYLVANIA ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS 

W. W. Keen, M.D. 

MEDICO-CHIRURGICAL COLLEGE OF PHILADELPHIA 

George P. Oliver, M.D., George E. Stubbs, M.D., Charles L. Mitchell, 
M.D., Abraham S. Gerhard, M.D., Wm. S. Stewart, M.D., Frank O. Nagle, 
M.D., Wm. F. Waugh, M.D. 

HAHNEMANN MEDICAL COLLEGE 

A. R. Thomas, M.D., Lemuel Stephens, M.D., O. B. Cause, M.D., E. 
A. Farrington, M.D., B. F. Betts, M.D., Pemberton Dudley, M.D., W. C. 
Goodno, M.D., Charles M. Thomas, M.D., John E. James, M.D., Charles 
Mohr, M.D., R. B. Weaver, M.D., J. N. Mitchell, M.D., W. H. Keim, M.D. 

PHILADELPHIA SCHOOL OF ANATOMY 

John B. Roberts, M.D. 

woman's MEDICAL COLLEGE OF PENNSYLVANIA 

James B. Walker, M.D., Rachel L. Bodley, M.D., Benj. B. Wilson, M.D., 
William H. Parrish, M.D., Anna E. Broomall, M.D., Clara Marshall, M.D., 
Emilie B. Du Bois, M.D. 

PENNSYLVANIA COLLEGE OF DENTAL SURGERY 

T. L. Buckingham, D.D.S., J. Ewing Mears, M.D., C. N. Peirce, D.D.S., 
Henry C. Chapman, M.D., W. F. Litch, D.D.S. 

304 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

PHILADELPHIA POLYCLINIC AND COLLEGE FOR GRADUATES IN MEDICINE 

R. J. Levis, M.D., Thos. G. Morton, M.D., J. Solis Cohen, M.D., George 
C. Harlan, M.D., Henry Leffman, M.D., Edward O. Shakespeare, M.D., 
James CorneHus Wilson, M.D., John B. Roberts, M.D., Charles H. Burnett, 
M.D., Arthur Van Harlingen, M.D., Charles K. Mills, M.D., Edward L. 
Duer, M.D., J. Henry C. Simes, M.D. 

PHILADELPHIA COUNTY MEDICAL SOCIETY 

" This petition was presented to the Philadelphia County Medical Society 
and unanimously ordered to be signed by the officers." 

Resolutions endorsing the new law and petition were passed by the 
County Medical Societies throughout the State. 

" The act as passed and approved reads as follows, — viz. : 

" ' NO. Io6. AN ACT FOR THE PROMOTION OF MEDICAL SCIENCE BY THE DIS- 
TRIBUTION AND USE OF UNCLAIMED HUMAN BODIES FOR SCIENTIFIC 
PURPOSES THROUGH A BOARD CREATED FOR THAT PURPOSE, AND TO PRE- 
VENT UNAUTHORIZED USES AND TRAFFIC IN HUMAN BODIES 

" ' Section i. Be it enacted, etc., That the professors of anatomy, the 
professors of surgery, the demonstrators of anatomy, and the demonstrators 
of surgery of the medical and dental schools and colleges of this Common- 
wealth, which are now or may hereafter become incorporated, together with 
one representative from each of the unincorporated schools of anatomy or 
practical surgery, within this Commonwealth, in which there are from time 
to time, at the time of the appointment of such representatives, not less than 
five scholars, shall be and hereby are constituted a board for the distribu- 
tion and delivery of dead human bodies, hereinafter described, to and among 
such persons as, under the provisions of this act, are entitled thereto. The 
professor of anatomy in the University of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia, shall 
call a meeting of said board for organization at a time and place to be fixed 
by him within thirty days after the passage of this act. The said board 
shall have full power to establish rules and regulations for its government, 
and to appoint and remove proper officers, and shall keep full and complete 
minutes of its transactions ; and records shall also be kept under its direction 
of all bodies received and distributed by said board, and of the persons to 
whom the same may be distributed, which minutes and records shall be open 
at all times to the inspection of each member of said board, and of any district 
attorney of any county within this Commonwealth. 

" ' Section 2. All public officers, agents, and servants, and all officers, 
agents, and servants of any and every county, city, township, borough, dis- 
trict, and other municipality, and of any and every almshouse, prison, morgue, 
20 30s 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

hospital, or other pubHc institution having charge or control over dead human 
bodies, required to be buried at the public expense, are hereby required to 
notify the said board of distribution, or such person or persons as may, from 
time to time, be designated by said board as its duly authorized officer or 
agent, whenever any such body or bodies come into his or their possession, 
charge, or control; and shall, without fee or reward, deliver such body or 
bodies, and permit and suffer the said board and its agents, and the physicians 
and surgeons from time to time designated by them, who may comply with 
the provisions of this act, to take and remove all such bodies to be used within 
this State for the advancement of medical science; but no such notice need 
be given nor shall any such body be delivered if any person claiming to be 
and satisfying the authorities in charge of said body that he or she is of 
kindred or is related by marriage to the deceased, shall claim the said body 
for burial, but it shall be surrendered for interment, nor shall the notice be 
given or body delivered if such deceased person was a traveller who died 
suddenly, in which case the said body shall be buried. 

" ' Section 3. The said board or their duly authorized agent may take 
and receive such bodies so delivered as aforesaid, and shall, upon receiving 
them, distribute and deliver them to and among the schools, colleges, physi- 
cians, and surgeons aforesaid, in manner following : Those bodies needed for 
lectures and demonstrations by the said schools and colleges incorporated 
and unincorporated shall first be supplied ; the remaining bodies shall then be 
distributed proportionately and equitably, preference being given to said 
schools and colleges, the number assigned to each to be based upon the num- 
ber of students in each dissecting or operative surgery class, which number 
shall be reported to the board at such times as it may direct. Instead of 
receiving and delivering said bodies themselves, or through their agents or 
servants, the board of distribution may, from time to time, either directly or 
by their authorized officer or agent, designate physicians and surgeons. who 
shall receive them, and the number which each shall receive : Provided always, 
however, That schools and colleges incorporated and unincorporated, and 
physicians or surgeons of the county where the death of the person or persons 
described takes place, shall be preferred to all others : And provided also, That 
for this purpose such dead body shall be held subject to their order in the 
county where the death occurs for a period not less than twenty-four hours. 

Section 4. The said board may employ a carrier or carriers for the 
conveyance of said bodies, which shall be well enclosed within a suitable 
encasement, and carefully deposited free from public observation. Said 
carrier shall obtain receipts by name, or if the person be unknown by a descrip- 
tion of each body delivered by him, and shall deposit said receipt with the 
secretary of the said board. 

Section 5. No school, college, physician, or surgeon shall be allowed 
or permitted to receive any such body or bodies until a bond shall have been 

306 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

given to the Commonwealth by such physician or surgeon, or by or in behalf 
of such school or college, to be approved by the prothonotary of the court of 
common pleas in and for the county in which such physician or surgeon shall 
reside, or in which such school or college may be situate, and to be filed in the 
office of said prothonotary, which bond shall be in the penal sum of one thou- 
sand dollars, conditioned that all such bodies which the said physician or 
surgeon, or the said school or college shall receive thereafter shall be used 
only for the promotion of medical science within this State; and whosoever 
shall sell or buy such body or bodies, or in any way traffic in the same, or 
shall transmit or conve)- or cause or procure to be transmitted or conveyed 
said body or bodies, to any place outside of this State, shall be deemed guilty 
of a misdemeanor, and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding 
two hundred dollars, or be imprisoned for a term not exceeding one year. 

" ' Section 6. Neither the Commonwealth nor any county or munici- 
pality, nor any officer, agent, or servant thereof, shall be at any expense by 
reason of the delivery or distribution of any such body ; but all the expenses 
thereof and of said board of distribution shall be paid by those receiving the 
bodies, in such manner as may be specified by said board of distribution, or 
otherwise agreed upon. 

" ' Section 7. That any person having duties enjoined upon him by 
the provisions of this act who shall neglect, refuse, or omit to perform the 
same as hereby required, shall, on conviction thereof, be liable to fine of not 
less than one hundred nor more than five hundred dollars for each offence. 

" ' Section 8. That all acts or parts of acts inconsistent with this act be 
and the same are hereby repealed. 

" ' Approved — the 13th day of June, a.d. 1883. 

" ' Robert E. Pattison.' 

" In debate in the Senate, the above law was ably opposed by Senators 
Laird, Lee, and Stewart, and its passage was advocated by Senators Rey- 
burn, Grady, Patton, and McKnight. 

" In closing this narrative I quote a paragraph from my remarks in 
the Senate in support of the passage of the law and in reply to the speeches 
of other senators : 

" ' Where would the humanity exist then, especially that kind of which 
so much is said in regard to the dead? Humanity, I think, should first be 
shown to the living, and the Great Physician, whom senators quote on this 
floor as having had a regard for humanity, said, " Let the dead bury the 
dead." He took the same practical view that humanity should be practised 
for the living. We take a harsh view as medical men in regard to the dis- 
section of dead bodies. We consider subjects just as clay. I know this is 
repugnant to the common idea of mankind, but it is the true idea. It is the 
idea that will enable a medical man to be of sound, practical good, profes- 

307 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

sionally, in the world. For the crushed, relief in life is the great object, not 
relief after death. We have nothing to do with that. Beautiful poetry and 
nice homilies can be delivered here by senators about death, but it is the 
living that we want to be humane to and not the dead, and if it requires the 
dissection of ninety-nine dead persons to relieve one living sufferer, I would 
dissect the ninety-nine dead persons and relieve the one living person. Other 
senators here would have us do just the reverse of that. I repeat, Mr. Presi- 
dent, this measure is in the interest of the laboring man ; it is in the interest 
of the mechanic ; it is in the interest of science ; it is in the interest of the 
poor the world over; it is in the interest of the man who gets torn and 
lacerated in our mines and workshops, and who is too poor to travel to 
Philadelphia for his surgical aid. Enact this law, and the young man can 
go from Allegheny, from Jefferson, and from Armstrong Counties to Phila- 
delphia, and he can legally take the human body, which is the A B C of all 
medical knowledge, and he can dissect it there, and learn by that means just 
where each artery is, and where each vein is, and where the different muscles 
lie and the different relations they sustain to one another, and then he is 
qualified to return to Allegheny or Jefferson County, locate at the cross- 
roads or in the village, and perform the operations that are so much needed 
there for the relief of suffering humanity and the suffering poor. 

" ' You all know that the surgeons of Philadelphia are famous, not only 
in Philadelphia, but throughout the world, and why? It is because they have 
studied the anatomy of the human body so thoroughly and so perfectly. 

" ' We must have anatomical dissections. No man learns anatomy in 
any other way in the world than through anatomical dissections. Pictures, 
models, and manikins won't do. He must not only dissect one body, but he 
must dissect a large number of bodies. He cannot dissect too many, neither 
can he dissect too often; therefore humanity requires that this dissection be 
legalized and go on. 

" ' Of course, we must have some regard for the sentiment of the living, 
and to respect that, we, in this bill, only ask that the unclaimed bodies of 
paupers be given to the medical colleges, not the bodies of those having 
friends. No body can be taken if any one objects.' " 

For the law the yeas were, in the Senate: Adams, Arnholt, Biddis, 
Cooper, Coxe, Davies, Grady, Hall, Hess, Humes, Keefer, Lantz, Longe- 
necker, McCracken, MacFarlane, McKnight, Patton, Reyburn, Shearer, Sill, 
Smith, Sutton, Vandegrift, Upperman, Wagner, Wallace, Watres, and Wol- 
verton— 28. 

Nays : Agnew, Herr, Laird, Lee, Ross, Stehman, and Stewart— 7. 

We have now, in 1904, legalized dissection of the human body in nearly 
every State of the Union, and, as a result, the skill of the physician in the 
future " shall lift up his head, and in the sight of great men he shall stand 
in admiration." 

308 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 



POPULATION OF THE 


STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA 


AND OF THE 


UNITED STATES 






FROM 1790 


TO 1850 INCLUSIVE 




Year 


Whites 


Free Colored 


Negro Slaves 


Total ill 
Pennsylvania 


Population in the 
United States 


1790 


424,099 


6,537 


3,737 


434,373 


3,929,827 


1800 


586,098 


14,561 


1,706 


602,36s 


5,305,941 


1810 


786,704 


22,492 


795 


810,091 


7,239,814 


1820 


1,017,094 


32,153 


211 


1,049,458 


9,638,191 


1830 


1,309,900 


37,930 


403 


1,348,233 


12,866,020 


1840 


1,676,115 


47,854 


64 


1,724,033 


17,069,453 


1850 


2,258,160 


53,626 




2,311,786 


23,191,876 



RATIO 
From 



OF REPRESENTATION IN THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 
1789 to 1793 as provided by the United States Constitution 30,000 



1793 ■■ 1803 based on the United States Census of 

1803 " 1813 

1813 " 1823 

1823 " 1833 

1833 " 1843 

1843 " i8S3 

1853 " 1863 

1863 " 1873 



1790 33,000 

1800 33,000 

1810 35,000 

1820 40,000 

1830 47^700 

1840 70,680 

1850 93,420 

i860 127,381 



" From the first Congress, in 1789, inclusive, until March 4, 1795, 
Senators and Representatives received each six dollars per diem, and six 
dollars for every twenty miles' travel. From March 4, 1795, to March 4, 1796, 
Senators received seven dollars, and Representatives six dollars per diem. 
From March 4, 1796, until December 4, 181 5, the per diem was six dollars, 
and the mileage six dollars, to Senators and Representatives. From Decem- 
ber 4, 1815, until March 4, 1817, each Senator and Representative received 
one thousand five hundred dollars per annum, with a proportional deduction 
for absence, from any cause but sickness. The President of the Senate pro 
tempore, and Speaker of the House, three thousand dollars per annum, each. 
From March 4, 1817, the compensation to members of both Houses has been 
eight dollars per diem, and eight dollars for every twenty miles' travel ; and 
to the President of the Senate pro tempore, and Speaker of the House, six- 
teen dollars per diem, until i860." 




309 



CHAPTER XVI 



WHITE SLAVERY ORIGIN NATURE IN ROME, GREECE, AND EUROPE AFRICAN 

SLAVERY IN PENNSYLVANIA GEORGE BRYAN PIONEER COLORED SETTLER 

IN JEFFERSON COUNTY CENSUS, ETC. DAYS OF BONDAGE IN JEFFERSON 

COUNTY AND THE NORTHWEST 

White slavery is older than history. Its origin is supposed to have been 
from kidnapping, piracy, and in captives taken in war. Christians enslaved 
all barbarians and barbarians enslaved Christians. Early history tells us that 
Rome and Greece were great markets for all kinds of slaves, slave-traders, 
slave-owners, etc. The white slaves of Europe were mostly obtained in 
Russia and Poland in times of peace. All fathers could sell children. The 
poor could be sold for debt. The poor could sell themselves. But slavery 
did not exist in the poor and ignorant alone. The most learned in science, 
art, and mechanism were bought and sold at prices ranging in our money 
from one hundred to three hundred dollars. Once sold, whether kidnapped 
or not, there was no redress, except as to the will of the master. At one 
time in the history of Rome white slaves sold for sixty-two and a half cents 
apiece in our money. These were captives taken in battle. By law the mini- 
mum price was eighty dollars. A good actress would sell for four thousand 
and a good physician for eleven thousand dollars. The state, the church, 'and 
mdividuals all owned slaves. Every wicked device that might and power 
could practise was used to enslave men and women without regard to nation- 
ality or color. And when enslaved, no matter how well educated, the slaves 
possessed no right in law and were not deemed persons in law, and had no 
right in and to their children. Slavery as it existed among the Jews was a 
milder form than that which existed in any other nation. The ancients 
regarded black slaves as luxuries, because there was but little traffic in them 
until about the year 1441, and it was at that date that the modern African 
slave-trade was commenced by the Portuguese. The pioneer English African 
slave-trader was Sir John Hawkins. Great companies were formed in London 
to carry on African traffic, of which Charles II. and James II. were members 
It was money and the large profits in slavery, whether white or black that 
gave It such a hold on church and state. The English were the most 'cruel 
African slave-traders. Genuine white slavery never survived in what is now 
f^'.U/'f States. In the year a.d. 1620 the pioneer African slaves were 
landed at Hampton Roads in Virginia, and nineteen slaves were sold. In 

310 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

1790 there were six hundred and ninety-seven thousand six hundred and 
eighty-one African slaves in the Middle States. 

Slavery was introduced in Pennsylvania in 1681, and was in full force 
■until the act quoted below for its gradual abolition was enacted in 1780, by 
which, as will be seen, adult slaves were liberated on July 4, 1827, and the 
children born before that date were to become free as they reached their 
majority. This made the last slave in the State become a free person about 
i860. 

In 1790 Pennsylvania had slaves 3737 



In 1800 
In 1810 
In 1820 
In 1830 
In 1840 



1706 

795 
211 

403 
64 



On December 4, 1833, sixty persons met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 
and organized the American Anti-Slavery Society. 

NEGRO SLAVERY 

" He found his fellow guilty — of a skin not colored like his own ; for such a cause 
dooms him as his lawful prey." 

Negro slaves were held in each of the thirteen original States. 



NUMBER OF SLAVES IN THE ORIGINAL THIRTEEN STATES IN 1 776 

Maryland 80,000 

Virginia 165,000 

North Carolina 7S.ooo 

South Carolina 110,000 

Georgia 16,000 



Massachusetts 3.Soo 

Rhode Island 4.337 

Connecticut 6,000 

New Hampshire 629 

New York 10,000 

Pennsylvania 10,000 

New Jersey 7,600 

Delaware 9>ooo 



Total 497,066 



In March, 1780, Pennsylvania enacted her gradual abolition law. Massa- 
chusetts, by constitutional enactment in 1780, abolished slavery. Rhode 
Island and Connecticut were made free States in 1784, New Jersey in 1804, 
New York in 1817, and New Hampshire about 1808 or 1810. The remaining 
States of the thirteen— viz., Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North and South 
Carolina, and Georgia — each retained their human chattels until the close of 
the Civil War. In one hundred years, from 1676 until 1776, it is estimated 
that three million people were imported and sold as slaves in the United 
States. 

As late as i860 there was still one slave in Pennsylvania ; his name was 
Lawson Lee Taylor, and he belonged to James Clark, of Donegal Township, 
Lancaster County. 

311 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

August i, i8io. 



Slavery August i, 1790. slaves. 

Free States 40,850 

Southern States 645,047 

685,897 
August i, 1800. 

Free States 35,946 

Southern States 857,095 

893,941 



Slaves. 

Free States 27,510 

Southern States 1,063,854 

1,091,364 
August i, 1820. 

Free States i9,io8 

Southern States i,534,S8o 

1,543,688 



June I, 1830. Slaves. 

Free States 3,S68 

Southern States ■JfyojAn 

2,009,043 
Free States June i, 1840. 

Ohio 3 

Indiana 3 

Illinois 331 

Michigan, none. 

Wisconsin n 

Iowa 16 



Maine, no slaves. 

New Hampshire I 

Vermont, none. 
Massachusetts, none. 

Rhode Island 5 

Connecticut 17 

New York 4 

New Jersey 674 

Pennsylvania 64 



Total in Free States 1,129 

Total in Southern States 2,486,226 



The first man who died in the Revolution was a colored man, and Peter 
Salem, a negro, decided the battle of Bunker Hill ; clinging to the Stars and 
Stripes, he cried, " I'll bring back the colors or answer to God the reason 
why !" His example fired the hearts of the soldiers to greater valor, and the 
great battle was won by our men. 

" It was on the soil of Pennsylvania in 1682 that the English penalty of 
death on over two hundred crimes was negatived by statute law, and the 
penalty of death retained on only one crime, — viz., wilful murder. It was 
in the province of Pennsylvania that the law of primogeniture was abol- 
ished. It was on the soil of Pennsylvania that the first mint to coin money 
in the United States was established. It was on the soil of Pennsylvania in 
1829, and between Honesdale and Carbondale, that the pioneer railroad train, 
propelled by a locomotive, was run in the New World. It was on the soil of 
Pennsylvania that the first Continental Congress met. It was on the soil of 
Pennsylvania that the great Magna Charta of our liberties was written, signed, 
sealed, and delivered to the world. It was on the soil of Pennsylvania that 
the fathers declared ' that all men are born free and equal, and are alike 
entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.' It was on the soil of 
Pennsylvania that the grand old Republican party was organized, and the 
declarations of our fathers reaffirmed and proclaimed anew to the world. It 
was on the soil of Pennsylvania that Congress created our national emblem, 

312 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

the Stars and Stripes; and it was upon the soil of Pennsylvania that fair 
women made that flag in accordance with the resolution of Congress. It 
was upon the soil of Pennsylvania that our flag was first unfurled to the 
breeze, and from that day to this that grand old flag has never been disgraced 
nor defeated. It was upon the Delaware River of Pennsylvania that the first 
steamer was launched. It was in Philadelphia that the first national bank 
opened its vaults to commerce. It was upon the soil of Pennsylvania that 
Colonel Drake first drilled into the bowels of the earth and obtained the oil 
that now makes the ' bright light' of every fireside ' from Greenland's icy 
mountains to India's coral strand.' It was on the soil of Pennsylvania that 
the first Christian Bible Society in the New World was organized. It was 
on the soil of Pennsylvania that the first school for the education and mainte- 
nance of soldiers' orphans was erected. It was on the soil of Pennsylvania 
that the first medical college for the New World was established. 

" And now, Mr. President, I say to you that it was permitted to Penn- 
sylvania intelligence, to Pennsylvania charity, to Pennsylvania people, to erect 
on Pennsylvania soil, with Pennsylvania money, the first insane institution, 
aided and encouraged by a State, in the history of the world." 

The above is an extract from a speech made by me when Senator in the 
Senate of Pennsylvania in 1881. I reproduce it here only to reassert it and 
crown it with the fact that Pennsylvania was the first of the united colonies 
to acknowledge before God and the nations of the earth, by legal enactment, 
the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. Pennsylvania was the 
first State or nation in the New World to enact a law for the abolition of 
human slavery. This act of justice was passed, too, when the struggle for 
independence was still undetermined. The British were pressing us on the 
east, and the savages on the west were torturing and killing the patriot fathers 
and mothers of the Revolution. 

George Bryan originated, prepared, offered, and carried this measure 
successfully through the Legislature. I quote from his remarks on this meas- 
ure : " Honored will that State be in the annals of mankind which shall first 
abolish this violation of the rights of mankind ; and the memories of those 
will be held in grateful and everlasting remembrance who shall pass the law 
to restore and establish the rights of humari nature in Pennsylvania." George 
Bryan did this. He was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1732, died in Philadel- 
phia, Pennsylvania, in 1791. To exhibit the advanced sentiment of George 
Bryan, I republish his touching and beautiful preamble to his law, and a section 
or two of the law which will explain its work : 

" AN ACT FOR THE GENERAL ABOLITION OF SLAVERY 

" When we contemplate our abhorrence of that condition to which the 
arms and tyranny of Great Britain were exerted to reduce us, when we look 
back on the variety of dangers to which we have been exposed, and how 

31S 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

miraculously our wants in many instances have been supplied, and our de- 
liverances wrought, when even hope and human fortitude have become unequal 
to the conflict, we are unavoidably led to a serious and grateful sense of the 
manifold blessings which we have undeservedly received from the hand of 
that Being from whom every good and perfect gift cometh. Impressed with 
these ideas, we conceive that it is our duty, and we rejoice that it is in our 
power, to extend a portion of that freedom to others which hath been extended 
to us, and release from that state of thraldom to which we ourselves were 
tyrannically doomed, and from which we have now every prospect of being 
delivered. It is not for us to inquire why, in the creation of mankind, the 
inhabitants of the several parts of the earth were distinguished by a difference 
in feature or complexion. It is sufficient to know that all are the work of an 
Almighty hand. We find, in the distribution of the human species, that the 
most fertile as well as the most barren parts of the earth are inhabited by men 
of complexions different from ours, and from each other; from whence we 
may reasonably, as well as religiously, infer that He who placed them in their 
various situations hath extended equally His care and protection to all, and 
that it becometh not us to counteract His mercies. We esteem it a peculiar 
blessing granted to us that we are enabled this day to add one more step to 
universal civilization, by removing, as much as possible, the sorrows of those 
who have lived in undeserved bondage, and from which, by the assumed 
authority of the kings of Great Britain, no effectual legal relief could be 
obtained. Weaned, by a long course of experience, from those narrow preju- 
dices and partialities we had imbibed, we find our hearts enlarged with kind- 
ness and benevolence towards men of all conditions and nations ; and we con- 
ceive ourselves at this particular period extraordinarily called upon, by the 
blessings which we have received, to manifest the sincerity of our profession 
and to give a substantial proof of our gratitude. 

" II. And whereas the condition of those persons, who have heretofore 
been denominated Negro and Mulatto slaves, has been attended with circum- 
stances which not only deprived them of the common blessings that they were 
by nature entitled to, but has cast them into the deepest afflictions, by an 
unnatural separation and sale of husband and wife from each other and from 
their children, an injury the greatness of which can only be conceived by 
supposing that we were in the same unhappy case. In justice, therefore, 
to persons so unhappily circumstanced, and who, having no prospect before 
them whereon they may rest their sorrows and their hopes, have no reasonable 
inducement to render their service to society, which they otherwise might, and 
also in grateful commemoration of our own happy deliverance from that state 
of unconditional submission to which we were doomed by the tyranny of 
Britain — 

" III. Be it enacted, and it is hereby enacted, That all persons, as well 
Negroes and Mulattoes as others, who shall be born within this State from 

316 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

and after the passage of this act, shall not be deemed and considered as ser- 
vants for life, or slaves ; and that all servitude for life, or slavery of children, 
in consequence of the slavery of their mothers, in the case of all children born 
within this State from and after the passing of this act as aforesaid, shall be, 
and hereby is, utterly taken away, extinguished, and forever abolished. 

" IV. Provided always, and be it further enacted, That every Negro and 
Mulatto child born within this State after the passing of this act as aforesaid 
(who would, in case this act had not been made, have been born a servant for 
years, or life, or a slave) shall be deemed to be, and shall be, by virtue of this 
act, the servant of such person, or his or her assigns, who would in such case 
have been entitled to the service of such child, until such child shall attain 
unto the age of twenty-eight years, in the manner and on the conditions 
whereon servants bound by indenture for four years are or may be retained 
and holden; and shall be liable to like correction and punishment, and enti- 
tled to like relief, in case he or she be evilly treated by his or her master or 
mistress, and to like freedom, dues, and other privileges, as servants bound 
by indenture for four years are or may be entitled, unless the person to 
whom the service of such child shall belong, shall abandon his or her claim 
to the same ; in which case the overseers of the poor of the city, township, or 
district, respectively, where such child shall be so abandoned, shall by indenture 
bind out every child so abandoned as an apprentice, for a time not exceeding 
the age herein before limited for the service of such children." 

Passed March i, 1780. 

THE " UNDERGROUND RAILROAD" IN NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" My ear is pained, 
My soul is sick with every day's report 
Of wrong and outrage with which this earth is filled." 

The origin of the system to aid runaway slaves in these United States 
was in Columbia, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. In 1787 Samuel Wright 
laid out that town, and he set apart the northeastern portion for colored people, 
and to many of whom he presented lots. Under these circumstances this sec- 
tion was settled rapidly by colored people. Hundreds of manumitted slaves 
from Maryland and Virginia migrated there and built homes. This soon 
created a little city of colored people, and in due time formed a good hiding- 
place for escaped slaves. The term " underground railroad" originated there, 
and in this way: At Columbia the runaway slave would be so thoroughly 
and completely lost to the pursuer, that the slave-hunter, in perfect aston- 
ishment, would frequently exclaim, " There must be an underground railroad 
somewhere." Of course, there was no railroad. There was only at this 
place an organized system by white abolitionists to assist, clothe, feed, and 
conduct fugitive slaves to Canada. This system consisted in changing the 

317 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

clothing, secreting and hiding the fugitive in daytime, and then carrying or 
directing him how to travel in the night-time to the next abolition station, 
where he would be cared for. These stations existed from the Maryland line 
clear through to Canada. In those days the North was as a whole for slavery, 
and to be an abolitionist was to be reviled and persecuted, even by churches 
of nearly all denominations. Abolition meetings were broken up by mobs, 
the speakers rotten-egged and murdered; indeed, but few preachers would 
read from their pulpit a notice for an anti-slavery meeting. Space will not 
permit me to depict the degraded state of public morals at that time, or the 
low ebb of true Christianity in that day, excepting, of course, that exhibited 
by a small handful of abolitionists in the land. I can only say, that to clothe, 
feed, secrete, and to convey in the darkness of night, poor, wretched human 




Charles Brown handcuffed and shackled in Brookville jail, 1834 

" The shackles never again shall bind this arm, which now is free.'' 

" My world is dead, 
A new world rises, and new manners reign." 

beings fleeing for liberty, to suffer social ostracism, and to run the risk of the 
heavy penalties prescribed by unholy laws for so doing, required the highest 
type of Christian men and women, — men and women of sagacity, coolness, 
firmness, courage, and benevolence ; rocks of adamant, to whom the down- 
trodden could flock for relief and refuge. A great aid to the ignorant fugitive 
was that every slave knew the " north star," and, further, that if he followed 
it he would eventually reach the land of freedom. This knowledge enabled 
thousands to reach Canada. All slave-holders despised this " star." 

To William Wright, of Columbia, Pennsylvania, is due the credit of put- 
ting into practice the first " underground railroad" for the freedom of slaves. 
There was no State organization effected until about 1838, when, in Phila- 

318 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

delphia, Robert Purvis was made president and Jacob C. White secretary. 
Then the system grew, and before the war of the Rebellion our whole State 
became interlaced with roads. We had a route, too, in this wilderness. It 
was not as prominent as the routes in the more populous counties of the State. 
I am sorry that I am unable to write a complete history of the pure, lofty, gen- 
erous men and women of the northwest and in our county who worked these 
roads. They were Quakers and Methodists, and the only ones that I can now 
recall in Jefferson County were Elijah Heath and wife, Arad Pearsall and 
wife, James Steadman and wife, and the Rev. Christopher Fogle and his first 
and second wife, of Brookville (Rev. Fogle was an agent and conductor in 
Troy), Isaac P. Carmalt and his wife, of near Clayville, Jaines A. Minish, of 
Punxsutawney, and William Coon and his wife, in Clarington, now Forest 
County. Others, no doubt, were connected, but the history is lost. Jefferson's 
route started from Baltimore, Maryland, and extended, via Bellefonte, Gram- 
pian Hills, Punxsutawney, Brookville, Clarington, and Warren, to Lake Erie 
and Canada. A branch road came from Indiana, Pennsylvania, to Clayville. 
At Indiana, Pennsylvania, Dr. Mitchell, James Moorhead, James Hamilton, 
William Banks, and a few others were agents in the cause. 

In an estimate based on forty years, there escaped annually from the 
slave States fifteen hundred slaves ; but still the slave population doubled in 
these States every twenty years. Fugitives travelled north usually in twos, 
but in two or three instances they went over our wilderness route in a small 
army, as an early paper of Brookville says, editorially, " Twenty-five fugi- 
tive slaves passed through Brookville Monday morning on their way to 
Canada." Again: "On Monday morning, October 14, 1850, forty armed 
fugitive slaves passed through Brookville to Canada." 

Smedley's " Underground Railroad" says, " Heroes have had their deeds 
of bravery upon battle-fields emblazoned in history, and their countrymen 
have delighted to do them honor; statesmen have been renowned, and their 
names have been engraved upon the enduring tablets of fame; philanthro- 
pists have had their acts of benevolence and charity proclaimed to an appre- 
ciating world; ministers, pure and sincere in their gospel labors, have had 
their teachings collected in religious books that generations might profit by 
the reading; but these moral heroes, out of the fulness of their hearts, with 
neither expectations of reward nor hope of remembrance, have, within the 
privacy of their own homes, at an hour when the outside world was locked 
in slumber, clothed, fed, and in the darkness of night, whether in calm or in 
storms, assisted poor degraded, hunted human beings on their way to liberty. 

********* 

"When, too, newspapers refused to publish antislavery speeches, but 
poured forth such denunciations as, ' The people will hereafter consider abo- 
litionists as out of the pale of legal and conventional protection which society 
aflfords its honest and well-meaning members,' that ' they will be treated as 

319 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

robbers and pirates, and as the enemies of mankind;' when Northern mer- 
chants extensively engaged in Southern trade told abolitionists that, as their 
pecuniary interests were largely connected with those of the South, they 
could not afford to allow them to succeed in their efforts to overthrow slavery, 
that millions upon millions of dollars were due them from Southern mer- 
chants, the payment of which would be jeopardized, and that they would put 
them down by fair means if they could, by foul means if they must, we must 
concede that it required the manhood of a man and the unflinching fortitude 
of a woman, upheld by a full and firm Christian faith, to be an abolitionist in 
those days, and especially an ' underground railroad' agent." 

SLAVE TRAFFIC AND TRADE 

"And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he 
shall surely be put to death."^ — Exod. xxi. i6. 

In the United States Constitutional Convention of 1787 the Carolinas, 
Georgia, and New York wanted the slave-trade continued and more slave 
property. To the credit of all the other colonies, they wanted the foreign 
slave traffic stopped. After much wrangling and discussion a compromise 
was effected by which no enactment was to restrain the slave-trade before the 
year 1808. By this compromise the slave-trade was to continue twenty-one 
years. On March 2, 1807, Congress passed an act to prohibit the importation 
of any more slaves after the close of that year. But the profits from slave- 
trading were enormous, and the foreign traffic continued in spite of all law. 
It was found that if one ship out of every three was captured, the profits still 
would be large. Out of every ten negroes stolen in Africa, seven died before 
they reached this market. A negro cost in Africa twenty dollars in gun- 
powder, old clothes, etc., and readily brought five hundred dollars in the 
United States. Everything connected with the trade was brutal. The daily 
ration of a captive on a vessel was a pint of water and a half-pint of rice. 
Sick negroes were simply thrown overboard. This traffic " for revolting, 
heartless atrocity would make the devil wonder." The profits were so large 
that no slave-trader was ever convicted in this country until 1861, when 
Nathaniel Gordon, of the slaver " Erie," was convicted in New York City 
and executed. It was estimated that from thirty to sixty thousand slaves were 
carried to the Southern States every year by New York vessels alone. A 
wicked practice was carried on between the slave and free States in this way. 
A complete description of a free colored man or woman would be sent from 
a free State to parties living in a slave State. This description would then 
be published in hand-bills, etc., as that of a runaway slave. These bills would 
be widely circulated. In a short time the person so described would be 
arrested, kidnapped in the night, overpowered, manacled, carried away, and 
sold. He had no legal right, no friends, and was only a "nigger."' Free 

320 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

colored men on the borders of Pennsylvania have left home to visit a neigh- 
bor and been kidnapped in broad daylight, and never heard of after. A 
negro man or woman would sell for from one to two thousand dollars, and 
this was more profitable than horse-stealing or highway robbery, and attended 
with but little danger. A report in this or any other neighborhood that kid- 
nappers were around struck terror to the heart of every free colored man 
and woman. Negroes of my acquaintance in Brookville have left their shanty 
homes to sleep in the stables of friends when such rumors were afloat. 

Before giving any official records in this history, I must pause to present 
the fact that one Butler B. Amos, an all-around thief, then in Jefferson County, 
was, in 1834, in jail, sentenced to " hard labor" under the law, and to be 
fed in the manner directed by law, — viz., on bread and water. 

Early convicts were sentenced to hard labor in the county jail, and had 
to make split-brooms from hickory-wood, as will be seen from this agreement, 
between the commissioners and the jailer: 

" Received, Brookville, Sept. 29th, 1834, of the commissioners of Jeffer- 
son county, thirtyTseven broomsticks, which I am to have made into brooms 
by Butler B. Amos, lately convicted in the Court of Quarter Sessions of 
said county for larceny and sentenced to hard labour in the gaol of said 
county for six months, and I am also to dispose of said brooms when made 
as the said commissioners may direct, and account to them for the proceeds 
thereof as the law directs. Received also one shaving horse, one hand saw, 
one drawing knife and one jack knife to enable him to work the above 
brooms, which I am to return to the said commissioners at the expiration of 
said term of servitude of the said Butler B. Amos, with reasonable wear 
and tear. 

" Arad Pearsall, Gaoler." 

Amos had been arrested for theft, as per the following advertisement in 
the Jeffersonian of the annexed date : 

" Commonwealth vs. Butler B. Amos. Defendant committed to Sep- 
tember term, 1834. Charge of Larceny. And whereas the act of General 
Assembly requires that notice be given, I therefore hereby give notice that 
the following is an inventory of articles found in the possession of the said 
Butler B. Amos and supposed to have been stolen, viz.: i canal shovel, i 
grubbing hoe, 2 hand saws, 2 bake kettles, i curry comb, 2 wolf traps, i iron 
bound bucket, i frow, 3 log chains, i piece of log chain, 2 drawing chains, 
I piece of drawing chain, i set of breast chains, i hand ax, &c. The above 
mentioned articles are now in possession of the subscriber, where those inter- 
ested can see and examine for themselves. 

" Alx. M'Knight, /. P 

" Brookville, August 2Sth, 1834." 
21 321 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

A few years after this sentence was cpmplied with Amos left Brookville 
on a flat-boat for Kentucky, where he was dirked in a row and killed. Al- 
though Amos was a thief, he had a " warm heart" in him, as will be seen 
farther on. In the year 1829 seventy thousand persons were imprisoned in 
Pennsylvania for debt. 

The earliest official record I can find of Jefiferson's underground road is 
in the Jeffersonian of September 15, 1834, which contained these advertise- 
ments, — viz. : 

" $150 REWARD 

" ESCAPED from the jail of Jefferson county, Pennsylvania, last night 
— a black man, called Charles Brown, a slave to the infant heirs of Richard 
Baylor, deceased, late of Jefferson county, Virginia; he is about 5 feet 7 
inches high, and 24 years of age, of a dark complexion — pleasant look, with 
his upper teeth a little open before. I was removing him to the State of 
Virginia, by virtue of a certificate from Judges' Shippen, Irvin & M'Kee, 
of the Court of Common Pleas of the county of Venango, as my warrant, to 
return him to the place from which he fled. I will give a reward of $150 to 
any person who will deliver him to the Jailor of Jefferson county Virginia, 
and if that sum should appear to be inadequate to the expense and trouble, 
it shall be suitably increased. 

" John Yates, 

" Sept. IS, 1834." " Guardian of the said heirs. 

" $150 reward!! 
" ESCAPED from the Jail of Jefferson county ; Pennsylvania last night, 
a black man, nam'd WILLIAM PARKER alias ROBINSON a slave, be- 
longing to the undersigned : aged about 26 years, and about 5 feet 6 inches 
high; broad shoulders; full round face, rather a grave countenance, and 
thick lips, particularly his upper lip, stammers a little, and rather slow in 
speech.— I was removing him to the State of Virginia, by virtue of a certifi- 
cate, from Judges Shippen and Irvin, of the Court of Common Pleas, of 
Venango county; as my warrant to return him to the place, from which he 
fled. I will give a reward of $150, to any person, who will deliver him to 
the Jailor of Jefferson county Virginia ; and if that sum should appear to be 
inadequate to the expense and trouble, it shall be suitably increased. 

" Stephen Delgarn. 
" September 15, 1834." 

These slaves were very intelligent and good-looking. 
Arad Pearsall was then our jailer, and he was a Methodist and an 
abolitionist. 

Jefferson's pioneer jail, as I remember it, was constructed from stone 

322 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

spawls, with wooden doors and big iron locks. For safety, tlie prisoners were 
usually shackled and handcuffed, and they were fed on " bread and water." 
When recaptured, escaped slaves were lodged in county jails and shackled for 
safety. These slaves had been so lodged, while their captors slept on beds " as 
soft as downy pillows are." Charles Brown and William Parker reached Can- 
ada. Heath and Steadman furnished augers and files to the thief Amos, who 
filed the shackles loose from these human beings, and with the augers he bored 
the locks off the doors. Pearsall, Heath, and Steadman did the rest. In addi- 
tion, Steadman had Yates and Delgarn arrested for travelling on Sunday, and 
this trial, before a justice of the peace, gave the two slaves time to get a good 
start through the woods for Canada. Some person or persons in Brookville 
were mean enough to inform, by letter or otherwise, Delgarn and Yates that 
Judge Heath, Arad Pearsall, and James Steadman had liberated and run off 
their slaves, whereupon legal steps were taken by these men to recover dam- 
ages for the loss of property in the United States Court at Pittsburg, the 
minutes of which I here reproduce : 

" At No. 4 of October Term, 1835, in the District Court of the United 
States for the Western District of Pennsylvania, suit in trespass, brought 
July 10, 1835, by Thomas G. Baylor and Anna Maria Baylor, minors, by 
John Yates, Esq., their guardian, all citizens of Virginia, against Elijah 
Heath, James M. Steadman, and Arad Pearsall. 

" At No. 5, October Term, 1835, suit in trespass by Stephen Delgarn, 
a citizen of Virginia, against same defendants as in No. 4, brought at same 
time. Burke and Metcalf, Esqs., were attorneys for the plaintiffs in each 
case, and Alexander M. Foster for the defendants. 

" Suit, as No. 4, was tried on May 3, 4, and 5, 1836, and on May 6, 
1836, verdict rendered for plaintiff for six hundred dollars. 

" Suit No. 5 was tried May 6 and 7, 1836, and verdict rendered May 7, 
1836, for eight hundred and forty dollars. November 24, 1836, judgments 
and costs collected upon execution and paid to plaintiffs' attorneys. 

" In suit No. 4 the allegations as set forth in the declarations filed are : 
That plaintiffs, citizens of Virginia, were the owners of ' a certain negro man' 
named Charles Brown, otherwise ' Charles,' of great value, — to wit, of the 
value of one thousand dollars, — to which said negro they were lawfully enti- 
tled as a servant or slave, and to his labor and service as such, according to 
the laws of the State of Virginia. That on or about the ist day of August, 
1834, the said negro man absconded, and went away from and out of the 
custody of said plaintiffs, and afterwards went and came into the Western 
District of Pennsylvania ; and the said plaintiffs, by their guardian, did, on 
or about the 13th day of September, 1834, pursue the said servant or slave 
into the said Western District of Pennsylvania, and finding the said servant 
or slave in said district, and there and then claimed him as a fugitive from 

323 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

labor, and caused him to be arrested and brought before the judges of the 
Court of Common Pleas of Venango County, in said Western District of 
Pennsylvania; and it appearing upon sufficient evidence before them pro- 
duced in due and legal form, that the said negro man did, under the laws of 
Virginia, owe service and labor unto said plaintiffs, and that the said negro 
man had fled from the service of his said master in Virginia into Venango 
County, Pennsylvania, aforesaid; and the said plaintiffs, by their guardian, 
did, on the said 13th day of September, 1834, obtain from the said judges of 
the Court of Common Pleas of Venango County aforesaid a warrant for the 
removal of the said negro man to Virginia aforesaid; and the said guardian 
was returning and taking with him, under and by virtue of the said warrant, 
said servant or slave to the said plaintiffs' residence in Virginia; and while 
so returning — to wit, on or about the day and year last aforesaid — the said 
guardian at Jefferson County, in the Western District of Pennsylvania afore- 
said, did, with the assent and by the permission of the person or persons 
having charge of the public jail or prison in and for said County of Jefferson, 
place the said servant or slave in said jail or prison for safe-keeping, until he, 
the said guardian, could reasonably proceed on his journey with the said 
aforesaid servant or slave to Virginia aforesaid. Yet the said defendants, 
well knowing the said negro man to be the servant or slave of the plaintiffs 
and to be their lawful property, and that they, the said plaintiffs, by their 
guardian aforesaid, were entitled to have the possession and custody of him, 
and to have and enjoy the profit and advantage of his labor and services; 
but contriving and unlawfully intending to injure the said plaintiffs, and to 
deprive them of all benefits, profits, and advantages of and which would 
accrue to these said plaintiffs from said services, then and there, on or about 
the day and year aforesaid at Jefferson County aforesaid, did secretly and in 
the night-time unlawfully, wrongfully, and unjustly release, take, and assist 
in releasing and taking, or procure to be released or taken, the said negro 
man, then being as aforesaid the servant or slave of the said plaintiffs, from 
and out of the said prison or jail, where said servant or slave was placed for 
safe-keeping by said guardian as aforesaid; whereby said servant or slave 
escaped, ran off, and was and is wholly lost to said plaintiffs, and said plain- 
tiffs deprived of all the profits, benefits, and advantages which might and 
otherwise would have arisen and accrued to said plaintiffs from the said 
services of said servant or slave. 

"The allegations and declarations in No. 5 were materially the same 
as in No. 4." 

Isaac P. Carmalt was co-operating with Heath and others at this time. 
Heath was a Methodist, and so was Pearsall. Heath moved away about 1846, 
and Pearsall died in Brookville about 1857. 

Isaac P. Carmalt was a Quaker, a relative of William Penn, and was 
born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1794. He learned the carpenter trade. 

324 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

In 1818 he left his native city with two horses and a Dearborn wagon, and 
in three weeks he crossed the Allegheny Mountains and located in Indiana 
County, Pennsylvania. In 1821 he moved to Punxsutawney. In 1822 he 
bought a farm near Clayville. In 1823 he married Miss Hannah A. Gaskill, a 
Quakeress, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. But little can be given of his 
great work in this direction owing to his death. His daughter, Mrs. Lowry, 
writes me as follows : 

" The last slave that came to our house was after the insurrection at 
Harper's Ferry. He claimed to have been in the insurrection. He came 
with a colored man who lived near Grampian Hills, whose name was George 
Hartshorn. This one was a mulatto, and claimed to be the son of Judge 
Crittenden, who, I think, held some important office at Washington,— Sena- 
tor or Congressman. The slave was very nervous when he came, and asked 
for a raw onion, which, he said, was good to quiet the nerves. He was also 
quite suspicious of Joe Walkup, who was working at our house at the time. 
He called him out and gave him his revolver, and told him he would 
rather he would blow his brains out than to inform on him, for if he was 
taken he would certainly be hung. He left during the night for Brookville. 
Most of the fugitives came through Centre and Clearfield Counties. One 
of the underground railroad stations was in Centre County, near Bellefonte, 
kept by a friend by the name of Iddings, who sent them to the next station, 
which was Grampian Hills, from thence to our house, and from here to Brook- 
ville. I remember well one Sabbath when I was coming home from church ; 
Lib Wilson was coming part way with me. We noticed a colored man ahead 
of us. I paid but little attention, but she said, ' I know that is a slave.' I 
knew Wilson's pro-slavery sentiments, and replied very carelessly that ' there 
was a colored family living near Grampian Hills. I supposed he was going 
to our house, as we had been there a short time before, wanting to trade 
horses for oxen to haul timber with.' But as soon as she left me I quickened 
my pace and tried to overtake him. I was afraid he might go through Clay- 
ville, where I knew there was a perfect nest of pro-slavery men, who had 
made their threats of what they would do if father assisted any more slaves 
to gain their freedom. Among them were the Gillespies, who boasted of 
being overseers or slave-drivers while they were in the South. He kept 
ahead of me and stopped at James Minish's, and I thought it was all over 
with him, as they and the Gillespies were connected, and most likely were 
of the same sentiment in regard to slavery. But imagine my surprise when 
I came up, Mr. Minish handed me a slip of paper with the name of ' Carmalt' 
on it, and remarked that I was one of the Carmalt girls. (I suppose it was 
the name of a station.) But he hurried the fugitive on, and I directed him 
to go up over the hill through the woods. I then hurried home for father to 
go and meet him. But when I got home, father was not there, so I put on 
my sun-bonnet and went but a short distance, when I met him. There were 

.32s 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

several persons in the house, so I slipped him in ^1- ^^k way^ He^^t^^^^ 
to be in great misery and could not eat anythmg, but asked for somethmg 
o bathe li foot in. Then he gave a short account of his escape from slavery 
three years previous. After escaping he stopped with a rnan near Harns- 
Turg at what he called Yellow Breeches Creek, and worked for him, dunng 
whi!k time he married and had a little home of his own. One day when 
ploughing in the field he discovered his old master from whom he had 
escaped and two other men coming toward him. He dropped everythmg 
and ran to his benefactor's house, and told him who he had seen. His bene- 
factor then pulled off his coat and boots and directed him to put them on, 
as he was in his bare feet, having left his own coat and boots in the field. 
Being closely pursued, he ran to the barn, and the men followed him. He 
was then compelled to jump from a high window, and, striking a sharp 
stone he received a severe cut in one heel, not having had time to put on 
the boots given him by his benefactor. When he came to our house he was 
suffering terribly, not having had an opportunity to get the wound dressed. 
His benefactor had charged him not to tarry on the road. But father, seeing 
the seriousness of his wound, persuaded him to go to bed until midnight. 
But the poor fellow could not sleep, but moaned with pain. We gave him 
his breakfast, and then father had him get on a horse, while he walked, and 
it was just breaking day when they arrived at Brookville. A gentleman by 
the name of Christopher Fogle was waiting to receive them. We heard 
afterwards that the poor slave succeeded in reaching Canada, but returned for 
his wife, and was captured and taken back to slavery. 

" There is just one more incident that I will mention, which occurred at 
an earlier date. One morning I went to the door and saw four large colored 
men hurrying to the barn. I told father, and he went out and brought them 
in. Our breakfast was just ready. We had them sit down and eat as fast 
as they could, taking the precaution to lock the door, for several persons 
came along while they were eating. Father noticed that one of the slaves 
looked dull and stupid, and inquired if he was sick. One of the others replied 
that he was only a little donsey. When they were through eating, father 
hurried them to the woods and hid them somewhere near the old school- 
house then on the farm. When father went to take their dinner to them, the 
one said he was still a little donsey, and then showed father his back. His 
shirt was sticking to his back. He had been terribly whipped, and they had 
rubbed salt in the gashes. They then gave a short history of their escape. 
They said they had a good master and mistress, but their master had died and 
the estate was sold. The master's two sons then sold them, and they were to 
be taken to the rice-swamps to toil their lives away. They were determined 
to make their escape, but the one who had been so terribly whipped was cap- 
tured and taken back. Their old mistress planned and assisted him to make 
his escape by dressing him as a coachman, and with her assistance he found 

326 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

his way to Washington, where he met his companions and friends. From 
Washington they were guided by the north star, travelling only by night. 

" I think but few fugitives came by the way of Indiana, though I remem- 
ber of hearing father tell of one or two that he brought with him when he 
first came from Indiana who had escaped by way of Philadelphia. I think 
most came through Baltimore, where a Quaker friend by the name of Needles 
assisted the runaways through this branch of the underground railroad. 
From Baltimore they came through the Quaker settlements in Centre and 
Clearfield Counties. Father was the only one who conveyed them from our 
house near Clayville to Brookville. This he generally did by going himself 
or by sending some reliable person with them. Father concealed a man 
from Baltimore, a German, who used to smuggle slaves through. He had 
a furniture wagon, in which he concealed them, but was discovered and put 
in jail at York, Pennsylvania, but he escaped to Iddings, near Bellefonte, 
thence to Grampian Hills, and from there to father's, where he worked five 
years. He then left, and moved to Ohio. He became afraid to stay, for there 
were a few who had an inkling of his history and knew there was a reward 
of three thousand dollars for his arrest. One day in going to his work he met 
the sheriff from Baltimore, who knew him well, and told him to keep out of 
his sight, that there was a big reward offered for him. When he was first 
arrested he had a colored girl concealed in a bureau which he was hauling 
on his wagon." 

Christopher Fogle was born in Baden, Germany, in 1800. His father 
came with his family to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1817, and Christopher 
learned the tanning trade in Germantown. On June 26, 1826, he was mar- 
ried in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. About this time he joined the Metho- 
dist Church. In 1835 he migrated to Heathville, Jefferson County, Pennsyl- 
vania, and built a tannery. In 1843 he moved to Troy and had a tannery. 
This he afterwards sold out to Hulett Smith, when he moved to Brookville 
and purchased from Elijah Heath and A. Col well what was called the David 
Henry tannery. Rev. Fogle was in the underground railroad business in 
Heathville, and Mrs. Jane Fogle, his second wife, who still survives him, 
informs me that he continued in that business until the war for the Union, 
and she assisted him. The points in and around Brookville where the Rev. 
Fogle lived and secreted fugitives were, first the old tannery; second, the 
K. L. Blood farm; third, the little yellow house where Benscotter's residence 
now is; and, fourth, the old house formerly owned by John J. Thompson, 
opposite the United Presbyterian church. Officers frequently were close after 
these fugitives, and sometimes were in Brookville, while the agents had the 
colored people hid in the woods. The next station on this road to Canada was 
at the house of William Coon, in Clarington, Pennsylvania. Coon would ferry 
the slaves over the Clarion, feed, refresh, and start them through the wilder- 
ness for Warren, Pennsylvania, and when Canada was finally reached, the 

327 



HISTORY or NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

poor fugitive could sing, with a broken heart at times, thinking of his wife, 
children, and parents yet in bonds, — 

" No more master's call for me, 

No more, no more. 
No more driver's lash for me. 

No more, no more. 
No more auction-block for me, 

No more, no more. 
No more bloodhounds hunt for me. 

No more, no more. 
I'm free, I'm free at last ; at last. 

Thank God, I'm free !" 

The following census tables are taken from Williams's " Memoirs and 
Administration," published in 1850: 

PROGRESS OF POPULATION IN THE UNITED STATES FOR FIFTY YEARS, FROM 

1790 TO 1840 
First Census, August 1, 1790. 

Whites. Free Colored. Slaves. Total. 

Free States 1,900,772 26,831 40,850 1,968,453 

Slave States 1,271,692 32,635 645,047 1,961,374 



Total 3, 172,464 59.446 697,897 3,929,827 

Second Census, August i, 1800. 

Free States 2,601,509 47,iS4 35,946 2,684,609 

Slave States 1,702,980 61,241 857,095 2,621,316 



Total 4,304,489 108,395 893,041 5,305,925 

Third Census, August i, 1810. 

Free States 3,653,219 78,181 27,510 3,7S8,9io 

Slave States 2,208,785 108,265 1,163,854 3,480,904 



Total 5,862,004 186,446 1,191,364 7,239,814 



Fourth Census, August i, 1820. 

Free States 5,030,371 102,893 19,108 

Slave States 2,842,340 135,434 1,524,580 



5,152,372 
4,502,224 



"^"'^^ 7,872,71 1 238,197 1,543,688 9,654,596 

Fifth Census, June I, 1830. 

^,"^ ^^^^' 6,876,620 137,529 3,568 7,017,717 

Slave States 3,660,758 182,070 2,005,475 5,848,303 



'''°*^' 10,537,378 319,599 2,009,043 12,866.020 

328 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

Sixth Census, June i, 1840. 

Whites. Free Colored. Slaves. Total. 

Free States 9>S57,o6s 170.727 1,129 9.723.921 

Slave States 4,632,640 215,568 2,486,226 7,334,434 



Total 14,189,705 386,29s 2,487,355 17,063,355 

SUMMARY OF THE CENSUS OF THE UNITED STATES, JUNE I, 184O 
Free or N on-Slaveholding States. 

states and Territories. Whites. Free Colored. Slaves. Total. 

Maine 500,438 1,355 •■ Soi,793 

New Hampshire 284,036 537 i 284,574 

Vermont 291,218 730 . . 291,948 

Massachusetts 729,030 8,668 . . 737.698 

Rhode Island 105.587 3,238 5 108,830 

Connecticut 301,856 8,105 I7 30Q,978 



Total, New England 2,212,165 22,633 23 2,234,821 

New York 2,378,890 50,027 .. 2,428,921 

New Jersey 351,588 21,044 674 373.3o6 

Pennsylvania 1,676,1 15 47,854 64 1,724.033 

Ohio 1,502,122 17,342 3 1.519.467 

Indiana 678,698 7,165 3 685,866 

Illinois 472.254 3,598 331 476.183 

Michigan , 211,560 707 •• 212,267 

Wisconsin 30,749 i85 " 43,ii2 

Iowa 42,924 172 ^ 30,945 

Total, Free States 9,557,o65 170,727 i.i29 9,728,921 



Slaveholding States. 

Delaware 58,561 16,919 2,605 78,085 

Maryland 318,204 62,078 89,737 470,oi9 

District of Columbia 30,657 8,361 4.694 43,712 

Virginia 740,968 49,842 448,987 1,239,797 

North Carolina 484.870 22,732 255.817 753.419 

South Carolina 259.084 8,276 327.038 494,398 

Georgia 407.695 2,753 280,944 691.392 

Florida 27,943 817 25,717 54,477 

Alabama 335,i85 2,039 253,532 59o,7.s6 

Mississippi 179,074 1.369 195,211 375,654 

Louisiana 158,457 25,502 168,451 3S2,4i 

Arkansas 77,174 465 '9,935 97,574 

Tennessee 640,627 5,524 i83,059 829,210 

Kentucky 590,253 7.317 182.^58 779.828 

Missouri • 323.888 1.574 S^'^^o 383.702 

Total, Slave States ■ 4,632,640 215,568 ^.486,226 7,334.434 

Total, United States 14,189,705 386,295 2,487,355 i7,o63,35S 

329 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

INDENTURED APPRENTICES, WHITE SLAVERY, AND REDEMPTIONERS 

Colored people were not the only class held in servitude by Pennsyl- 
vanians. Another form of slavery was carried on by speculators called New- 
landers. These traders in "white people" were protected by custom and 
legal statutes. They ran vessels regularly to European seaports, and induced 
people to emigrate to Pennsylvania. By delay and expensive formalities these 
emigrants were systematically robbed during the trip of any money they 
might have, and upon their arrival at Philadelphia would be in a strange 
country, without money or friends to pay their passage or to lift their goods 
from the villanous captains and owners of these vessels which brought them 
to the wharves of Philadelphia. Imagine the destitute condition of these 
emigrants. Under the law of imprisonment for debt the captain or merchant 
either sold these people or imprisoned them. 

The Newlanders were the first German emigrants to Pennsylvania. Ac- 
tuated by sinister motives, the Newlander would return to Germany, and rely 
on his personal appearance and flattering tongue to mislead and induce all 
classes, from the minister down to the lowest strata of humanity, to migrate 
to the New World. The Newlanders would receive from the owner or cap- 
tain of a vessel a stipulated sum per passenger. By arts and representations 
the Newlander ingratiated himself into the confidence of the emigrant, 
securing possession of his property, and before taking passage the emigrant 
had to subscribe to a written contract in English, which enabled the New- 
lander the more fully to pluck his victim, for when the vessel arrived at 
Philadelphia the list of passengers and their agreements were placed in the 
hands of merchants. The Newlander managed it so that the emigrant would 
be in his debt, and then the poor foreigners had to be sold for debt. The 
merchants advertised the cargo; the place of sale on the ship. The pur- 
chasers had to enter the ship, make the contract, take their purchase to the 
merchant and pay the price, and then legally bind the transaction before a 
magistrate. Unmarried people and young people, of course, were more 
readily sold, and brought better prices. Aged and decrepit persons were poor 
sale ; but if they had healthy children, these children were sold at good prices 
for the combined debt, and to different masters and in different States, per- 
haps never to see each other in this world. The parents then were turned 
loose to beg. The time of sale was from two to seven years for about fifty 
dollars of our money. The poor people on board the ship were prisoners, 
and could neither go ashore themselves or send their baggage until they paid 
what they did not owe. These captains made more money out of the deaths 
of their passengers than they did from the living, as this gave them a chance 
to rob chests and sell children. This was a cruel, murdering trade. Every 
cruel device was resorted to in order to gain gold through the misfortune 
of these poor people. One John Stedman, in 1753, bought a license in Hol- 
land that no captain or merchant could load any passengers unless he had two 

330 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

thousand. He treated these deluded people so cruelly on ship-board that two 
thousand in less than one year were thrown overboard. This was monopoly. 

As will be seen in this chapter, under the head of advertisements, many 
of the leading merchants in Philadelphia were engaged in this nefarious 
business. In answer to the daily advertisements of " Redemptioners for 
Sale," citizens from all parts of Pennsylvania and adjoining States visited 
Philadelphia and bought these poor white people, the same as sheep and 
oxen. Many of the best families and people in this State are descendants of 
these " white slaves." We have some such descendants in Jefferson County 
and through the northwest. I could name them. 

Under this debasing system of indentured apprentices, the legal exist- 
ence of African slavery, and the legalized sale of white emigrants in our 
State, is it any wonder that among the people intemperance, illiteracy, lottery 
schemes for churches, gambling, and profanity were the rule, or that to the 
poor, the weak, and the wretched the prisons were the only homes or hospitals 
for them, and that the " driver's lash" fell alike on the back of the old and 
young, black and white, minister, school-master, and layman ? 

" I pity the mother, careworn and weary, 
As she thinks of her children about to be sold; 
You may picture the bounds of the rock-girdled ocean, 
But the grief of that mother can never be told." 

ACT OF 1700 

" AN ACT FOR THE BETTER REGULATION OF SERVANTS IN THIS PROVINCE AND 

TERRITORIES 

" For the just encouragement of servants in the discharge of their duty, 
and the prevention of their deserting their masters' or owners' service, Be 
it enacted, That no servant, bound to serve his or her time in this province, 
or counties annexed, shall be sold or disposed of to any person residing in 
any other province or government, without the consent of the said servant, 
and two Justices of the Peace of the county wherein he lives or is sold, under 
the penalty of ten pounds ; to be forfeited by the seller. 

" II. And be it further enacted, That no servant shall be assigned over 
to another person by any in this province or territories, but in the presence 
of one Justice of the Peace of the county, under the penalty of ten pounds; 
which penalty, with all others in this act expressed, shall be levied by distress 
and sale of goods of the party offending. 

" III. And be it enacted. That eyery servant that shall faithfully serve 
four years, or more, shall, at the expiration of their servitude, have a dis- 
charge, and shall be duly clothed with two complete suits of apparel, whereof 
one shall be new, and shall also be furnished with one new axe, one grubbing- 
hoe, and one weeding-hoe, at the charge of their master or mistress. 

331 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" IV. And for prevention of servants quitting their masters' service, Be 
it enacted. That if any servant shall absent him or herself from the service of 
their master or owner for the space of one day or more, without leave first 
obtained for the same, every such servant shall, for every such day's absence, 
be obliged to serve five days, after the expiration of his or her time, and 
shall further make such satisfaction to his or her master or owner, for the 
damages and charges sustained by such absence, as the respective County 
Court shall see meet, who shall order as well the time to be served, as other 
recompense for damages sustained. 

" V. And whosoever shall apprehend or take up any runaway servant, 
and shall bring him or her to the Sheriff of the county, such person shall, 
for every such servant, if taken up within ten miles of the servant's abode, 
receive ten shillings, and if ten miles or upwards, twenty shillings reward, 
of the said Sheriff, who is hereby required to pay the same, and forthwith 
to send notice to the master or owner, of whom he shall receive five shillings, 
prison fees, upon delivery of the said servant, together with all other disburse- 
ments and reasonable charges for and upon the same. 

" VI. And to prevent the clandestine employing of other men's servants. 
Be it enacted. That whosoever shall conceal any servant of this province or 
territories, or entertain him or her twenty-four hours, without his or her 
master's or owner's knowledge and consent, and shall not within the said 
time give an account thereof to some Justice of the Peace of the county, every 
such person shall forfeit twenty shillings for every day's concealment. And 
in case the said Justice shall not, within twenty-four hours after complaint 
made to him, issue his warrant, directed to the next constable, for apprehend- 
ing and seizing the said servant, and commit him or her to the custody of the 
Sheriff of the county, such Justice shall, for every such offence, forfeit five 
pounds. And the Sheriff shall by the first opportunity, after he has received 
the said servant, send notice thereof to his or her master or owner; and the 
said Sheriff, neglecting or omitting in any case to give notice to the master 
or owner of their servant being in his custody as aforesaid, shall forfeit five 
shillings for every day's neglect after an opportunity has offered, to be proved 
against him before the next County Court, and to be there adjudged. 

" VII. And for the more effectual discouragement of servants imbezzling 
their masters' or owners' goods, Be it enacted. That whosoever shall clan- 
destinely deal or traffic with any servant, white or black, for any kind of goods 
or merchandise, without leave or order from his or her master or owner, 
plainly signified or appearing, shall forfeit treble the value of such goods to 
the owner ; and the servant if a white, shall make satisfaction to his or her 
master or owner by servitude, after the expiration of his or her time, to 
double the value of the said goods ; And if the servant be a black, he or she 
shall be severely whipped, in the most public place of the township where the 
offence was committed." 

332 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

ACT OF I 70s 

" Section 2. Provided, That no person shall be kept in prison for debt 
or fines, longer than the second day of the next session after his or her com- 
mitment, unless the plaintiff shall make it appear that the person imprisoned 
hath some estate that he will not produce, in which case the court shall 
examine all persons suspected to be privy to the concealing of such estate; 
and if no estate sufficient shall be found, the debtor shall make satisfaction by 
servitude to the judgment of the court where such action is tried (not exceed- 
ing seven years if a single person, and under the age of fifty and three years, 
or five years if a married man, and under the age of forty and six years) if 
the plaintiff require it ; but if the plaintiff refuse such manner of satisfaction, 
according to the judgment of the court as aforesaid, then and in such case the 
prisoner shall be discharged in open court. 

" Section 3. Provided, That nothing in this act contained shall be con- 
strued to subject any master of ship or other vessel, trading into this province 
from other parts, to make satisfaction for debt by servitude as above said." 

Up to 1842 this law of Pennsylvania authorized the imprisonment of 
men for debt. The act of July 12 of that year abolished such imprisonment. 
Quite a number of men were committed to the old jail in Brookville because 
of their inability to pay their debts. Sometimes their friends paid the debt 
for them, and sometimes they came out under the insolvent debtor's law. Be- 
low I give an exact copy of an execution issued by 'Squire Corbet, a justice 
of the peace in Brookville : 

" Jefferson County, .y.s. 

" The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to James Cochran, constable of 
borough, greeting: Whereas judgment against Stephen Tibbits for the sum 
of 5 dollars and 27 cents and the costs was had the 6th day of Jany, '39, before 
me, at the suit of Heath, Dunham & Co. : These are therefore in the name 
of the commonwealth, to command you to levy distress on the goods and 
chatties of the said Stephen Tibbits, and make sale thereof according to law 
to the amount of said debt and costs, and what may accrue thereon, and make 
return to me in twenty days from the date thereof; and for want of goods 
and chattels whereon to levy, you are commanded to convey the body of said 
Stephen Tibbits to the jail of the said county, the jailer whereof is hereby 
commanded to receive the same, in safe custody to keep until the said debt 
and costs are paid, or otherwise discharged by due course of law. Given 
under my hand and seal the 15 day of May, 1841. 

" James Corbet." 

This execution was numbered 811. The debt was $5.27; interest, 60 
cents; justice's costs, 25 cents; execution and return, 20>4 cents; total, 
$6.32^4. The whole sum was paid May 26, 1841. 

333 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

By the act passed April 8, 1785, entitled " An Act for establishing the 
office of a register of all German passengers who shall arrive at the port of 
Philadelphia, and of all indentures by which any of them shall be bound 
servants for their freight, and of the assignments of such servants in the city 
of Philadelphia," it was provided that the register should understand and 
speak both German and English languages, and that he could have " all the 
powers and authorities of a justice of the peace, as far as the same shall be 
required for the support and efficiency of his office, and the laws respecting 
the importation of German passengers and binding them out servants." All 
indentures and assignments to be made and acknowledged before the register 
or his deputy, and he to register all indentures or assignments, as servants' 
indentures or assignments. 

Under the act for regulating the importation of German and other pas- 
sengers, passed February 7, 18 18, the captain was compelled to give a bill 
of lading of merchandise to passengers, under a penalty of one hundred 
dollars. Passengers to be discharged on payment of freight. When passen- 
gers were sold for servitude, the indenture to be acknowledged before the 
mayor of the city of Philadelphia ; " but no master, captain, owner, or con- 
signee of any ship or vessel shall separate any husband and wife, who came 
passengers in any such ship or vessel, by disposing of them to different 
masters or mistresses, unless by mutual consent of such husband and wife; 
nor shall any passenger, without his or her consent, be disposed of to any 
person residing out of this Commonwealth, under the penalty of one hundred 
dollars." The goods of each passenger to be a pledge for freight. 

AN ACT FOR THE RELIEF OF REDEMPTIOISrERS 

" Section i. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives 
of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in General Assembly met, and it is 
hereby enacted by the authority of the same. That the several provisions of 
an act of Assembly of this Commonwealth, passed the twenty-ninth day of 
September, one thousand seven hundred and seventy, entitled ' An Act for 
the regulation of apprentices within this province,' and of an act passed the 
eleventh day of April, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-nine, entitled 
a supplement to the act entitled ' An Act for the regulation of apprentices,' 
be and the same are hereby extended to all Redemptioners bound to service 
for a term of years." Passed 9th February, 1820. 

ACT OF SEPTEMBER 29, 1770 

" Section i. All and every person or persons that shall be bound by 
indenture to serve an apprentice in any art, mystery, labour, or occupation, 
with the assent of his or her parents, guardian or next friend, or with 
the assent of the overseers of the poor, and approbation of any two Jus- 

334 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

tices, although such persons, or any of them, shall be within the age of 
twenty-one years at the time of making their several indentures, shall be 
bound to serve the time in their respective indentures contained, so as such 
time or term of years of such apprentice, if female, do expire at or before 
the age of eighteen years, and if a male, at or before the age of twenty-one 
years, as fully to all intents and purposes as if the same apprentices were 
of full age at the time of making the said indentures. 

" Section 2. If any master or mistress shall misuse, abuse, or evilly 
treat, or shall not discharge his or her duty toward his or her apprentice, 
according to the covenants in the indentures between them made, or if the 
said apprentice shall abscond or absent him or herself from his or her master's 
or mistress's service without leave, or shall not do and discharge his or her 
duty to his or her master or mistress, according to his or her covenants afore- 
said, the said master or mistress, or apprentice, being aggrieved in the prem- 
ises, shall or may apply to any one Justice of the Peace, of any county or city, 
where the said master or mistress shall reside, who, after giving due notice 
to such master or mistress, or apprentice, if he or she shall neglect or refuse 
to appear, shall thereupon issue his warrant for bringing him or her, the 
said master, mistress, or apprentice, before him, and take such order and 
direction, between the said master or mistress and apprentice, as the equity 
and justice of the case shall require : And if the said Justice shall not be able 
to settle and accommodate the difference and dispute between the said master 
or mistress and apprentice, through a want of conformity in the master or 
mistress, then the said Justice shall take a recognizance of the said master or 
mistress, and bind him or her over, to appear and answer the complaint of 
his or her apprentice, at the next county court of Quarter Sessions, to be 
held for the said county or city, and take such order with respect to such 
apprentice as to him shall seem just; and if through want of conformity in the 
said apprentice he shall, if the master or mistress or apprentice request it, 
take recognizance of him or her with one sufficient surety, for his or her 
appearance at the said sessions, and to answer the complaint of his or her 
master or mistress, or commit such apprentice for want of such surety, to 
the common gaol or work-house of the said county or city respectively ; and 
upon such appearance of the parties and hearing of their respective proofs 
and allegations, the said court shall, and they are hereby authorized and 
empowered, if they see cause, to discharge the said apprentice of and from 
his or her apprenticeship, and of and from all and every the articles, cove- 
nants, and agreements in his or her said indenture contained ; but if default 
shall be found in the said apprentice, then the said court is hereby authorized 
and empowered to cause, if they see sufficient occasion, such punishment by 
imprisonment of the body, and confinement at hard labour, to be inflicted on 
him or her, as to them, in their discretion, they shall think his or her offence 
or offences shall deserve." 

335 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

ACT OF APRIL II, 1 799 

" Section i. If any apprentice shall absent himself or herself from the 
service of his or her master or mistress, before the time of his or her appren- 
ticeship shall be expired, without leave first obtained, every such apprentice, 
at any time after he or she arrives at the age of twenty-one years, shall be 
liable to, and the master or mistress, their heirs, executors, or administrators, 
are hereby enabled to sustain all such actions, and other remedies against him 
or her, as if the said apprentice had been of full age at the time of executing 
his or her indenture of apprenticeship. 

" Section 2. When any master or mistress shall die before the term 
of apprenticeship shall be expired, the executors or administrators of such 
master or mistress, provided the term of the indenture extended to executors 
and administrators, shall and may have a right to assign over the remainder 
of the term of such apprenticeship to such suitable person of the same trade 
or calling mentioned in the indenture, as shall be approved of by the court of 
Quarter Sessions of the county where the master or mistress lived, and the 
assignee to have the same right to the service of such apprentice as the 
master or mistress had at the time of his or her death; and also when any- 
master or mistress shall assign over his or her apprentice to any person of the 
same trade or calling mentioned in the indenture, the said assignment shall 
be legal, provided the terms of the indenture extended to assigns, and pro- 
vided the apprentice, or his or her parents, guardian or guardians, shall give 
his, her, or their consent to such assignment before some Justice of the Peace 
of the county where the master or mistress shall live." 

These advertisements are selected from a large number of a similar kind 
that are found in Relf's Philadelphia Gazette and Daily Advertiser for the 
years 1804-05 : 

" GERMAN REDEMPTIONERS 

"To be disposed of, the time of a number of German Redemptioners, 
consisting of Clerks, Shoemakers, Taylors, Cloth makers. Weavers, Stock- 
ing weavers, Blacksmiths, Watch makers, Miniature painters &c. on board 
the Ship Cato, Capt. Barden, from the river Jade, lying off Vine Street, apply 
to the captain on board Cato. 

" Smith Ridgway & Co. 

" No. 50 n. front street. 
"Nov. 3rd (1804).'- 

" TO BE disposed OF 

" The Time of a German Servant Girl, who has eight years to serve. 
She is strong and hearty, understands English, and can be well recommended. 
Enquire at No. 15 South Third Street. 

" January pth', 1805." 

336 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" GERMAN REDEMPTIONERS 

" A number of German Redemptioners of different ages and professions, 
to be disposed of on board ship Venus from Amsterdam. For terms apply on 
board, opposite Callowhill street. 

" Sept. gth, 1805." 

" SWISS .-VND GERi\[.\N PASSENGERS 

" The Time 
" Of the following passengers mostly farmers and a few mechanics, viz : 
17 men, 11 women, 13 boys and 14 girls now to be seen at the Spread Eagle 
Tavern, Callowhill street near the water, to be disposed of by their agents 
Winkleblick & Bund, at the Red Lion Tavern, Market Street, between 6 and 
7 street, South from 9 in the morning till 6 o'clock in the evening. The pay- 
ment to be made at the counting house of Mr. L. Huson, No. 19 South 
Wharves." 

" GERMAN REDEMPTIONERS 

" On board the ship Indostan laying in the stream above Vine street, 
consisting of carpenters, bakers, butchers, gardeners, blacksmiths, sugar re- 
finers, glass makers, taylors, servants &c. &c. whose times are to be disposed 
of, by 

" Isaac Hazelhurst & Sons. 

" April i6th 1804." 

" 20 DOLLARS REWARD 

" Ran away on Saturday last from the subscriber, a German indentured 
servant man, named Tobias Schwenck, a weaver by trade, about 25 years of 
age, about 5 feet 6 inches high. When he speaks he has a fashion of swing- 
ing his arms in a very passionate manner, pale face, slender made, light 
straight hair, speaks a little English; took with him a tight body blue coat 
made in the German fashion, a blue surtout coat, two pair of Russia sheeting 
trousers, and a pair of blue velvet pantaloons, and a number of other clothing, 
a pair of new full boots broad round toed. 

" Whoever secures the above run-away in any gaol, or delivers him 
to the subscriber, shall receive the above reward and reasonable charges 
paid by 

" Henry Dotterer, 
" Sign of the Buck, Second street, Philadelphia. 

" Oct. 1804." 

" $2 dollars reward 

" Ran away, an indentured Dutch servant girl, (the property of Richard 
Baily, near the 7 mile stone, German town) about 8 years of age, light com- 
plexion, named Maria, was dressed in a striped lindsey short gown and petti- 
coat, blue worsted stockings, and speaks but little of her native language. 
22 .3,37 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

All persons are cautioned against detaining or- harboring the said girl. In 
addition to the above reward, any reasonable expense will be allowed. 
"Dec. i8th 1804." 

" $10 DOLLARS REWARD 

" Ran away from the subscriber living in the village of New-Holland, 
Lancaster County, on the evening of the 7th last, a German indentured ser- 
vant Girl, named Anna Maria Wagner, she came from Germany last fall in 
the brig Newton, Capt. Reilly. She is about 19 or 20 years old, of a low 
stature, she hath short and sandy hair, freckled face, her arms, hands, and 
feet, very small. Had on when she went away, a blue and white striped 
petticoat of German manufacture, and a blue jacket, which is remarkable, 
being lined after the German manner with whalebone. It is said that she 
hath a sister living in the neighborhood of Kutz town, Berks county, bound to 
Mr. Lesher. Whoever will secure and deliver her in any gaol, and give 
notice to the subscriber thereof, so that he may get her again, shall have the 
above reward, and reasonable charges paid. All persons are hereby fore- 
warned not to harbour her at their peril. 

" Jonathan Roland. 

" New-Holland, Jan. 3rd 1805." 

" In law, this system was known as an apprenticeship, or service entered 
into by a free person, voluntary, . by contract for a term of years on wages 
advanced before the service was entered. The servants, by performing the 
service, were redeeming themselves, and therefore called ' Redemptioners.' In 
practice, however, with a certain class of people, and in instances hereinafter 
related, this system was as revoltingly brutal and degenerating as the negro 
slavery abolished in our own time in its worst aspects. 

" It was conceived and had its beginning in the harmless and in some 
respects benevolent idea to help a poor person in Europe who wished to emi; 
grate to America and had not the money to pay for his passage across the 
ocean, by giving him credit for his passage-money, on condition that he should 
work for it after his arrival here, by hiring as a servant for a term of years to 
a person who would advance him his wages by paying his passage-money to 
the owner or master of the vessel. 

" There are instances on record when school-teachers, and even ministers 
of the gospel, were in this manner bought by congregations to render their 
services in their respective offices. Laws were passed for the protection of the 
masters and of the servants. Whilst this is the bright side of the Redemption- 
ers' life, it had also a very dark side. The Redemptioners on their arrival here 
were not allowed to choose their masters nor kind of service most suitable to 
them. They were often separated from their family, the wife from the hus- 
band, and children from their parents ; were disposed of for the term of years, 
often at public sale, to masters living far apart, and always to the greatest 

338 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

advantage of the shipper. I have read many reports of the barbarous treat- 
ment they received, how they were hterally worked to death, receiving in- 
sufficient food, scanty clothing, and poor lodging. Cruel punishments were 
inflicted on them for slight offences when they were at the mercy of a hard 
and brutal master. Their fellow black slave was often treated better, for 
he was a slave for life, and it was in the interest of the master to treat him 
well to preserve him, whilst the poor Redemptioner was a slave for a number 
of years only, and all his vital force was worked out of him during the years 
of his service. 

" No public records were kept of the contracts entered into abroad by the 
Redemptioners, nor of the time of the expiration of their service. The Re- 
demptioners were not furnished with duplicates of their contracts. They 
were sometimes, and could be, mortgaged, hired out for a shorter period, sold, 
and transferred like chattel by their masters. The Redemptioners belonging 
to the poor and most of them to the ignorant class, it is apparent that under 
these conditions they were at a great disadvantage against a rapacious master, 
who kept them in servitude after the expiration of their true contract time, 
claiming their services for a longer period. 

" For many years the Redemptioners in Maryland had come principally 
from England and Ireland. The abuses of the system having become known 
in England, rigorous laws and measures were adopted in England for their 
better protection, and letters and articles appeared in the newspapers warning 
the poor people from entering into these contracts. The first and early immi- 
gration of Germans came into Maryland from Pennsylvania. From Lancaster 
County it extended into Baltimore, Harford, Frederick, and the western coun- 
ties of our State. As wages advanced, the trade of shipping Redemptioners 
to the colony became highly lucrative. Large profits were made in a successful 
voyage with a full cargo of human beings, who, on their arrival here, were 
sold to the highest bidder for a term of years. 

" The Dutch, who, in 1620, had sent the first cargo of negro slaves to 
this country, and had amassed great wealth in the pursuit of the negro slave- 
trade from distant Africa, discovered that it was less troublesome and equally 
remunerative to engage in a sort of a white slave-trade, by shipping Redemp- 
tioners from their own country, Germany, Switzerland, and adjoining coun- 
tries, to the American colonies. The shipping merchants of Holland would 
send regular agents, or drummers, as we now would call them, who received 
one-half of a doubloon for every Redemptioner shipped by them into these 
colonies. These agents generally appeared in gaudy dress, with flourish of 
trumpets, and in glowing language depicted the wealth and happiness of the 
people of this country, whereof all could partake if they only would come 
here ; that they did not need any money for their passage, as all they had to 
do was to sign a contract that on their arrival here they would pay for the 
same out of their first earnings. In this manner these agents would travel from 

339 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

village to village, deluding the poorest and most ignorant to follow them to 
the New Eldorado. 

" Whenever such an agent had collected a sufficient number, he would 
take them personally to the shipping harbor in Holland. It was a gay crowd 
which travelled in this manner in wagons across the country. The horses 
and wagons were decorated with gay ribbons, and joyous songs were heard 
from the emigrants, who believed they were leaving toil and poverty to go 
to the fabulously rich America to enjoy the ease and plenty of this world's 
goods. This spirit was artificially kept up by the liberality of the agent until 
they were safely aboard the ship. From thence such a life of suffering, priva- 
tion, and hardship commenced, that it seems incredible that the Christian 
nations of Europe and America should have permitted such a trade to flourish 
up to nearly the end of the first quarter of the present century. I myself know 
several very old persons yet living in Baltimore who came to this country in 
this manner. The contracts which these Redemptioners had to sign in 
Holland, and which few of them then understood, contained the proviso that 
if any passenger died on the voyage, the surviving members of the family, or 
the surviving Redemptioner passengers, would make good his loss. Thereby 
a wife who had lost her husband during the sea-voyage, or her children, on her 
arrival here would be sold for five years for her own voyage and additional 
live more years for the passage-money of her dead husband or dead children, 
although they may have died in the very beginning of the voyage. If there 
were no members of the family surviving, the time of the dead was added to 
the time of service of the surviving fellow-passengers. The effects and 
property of the dead were confiscated and kept by the captain. By this the 
shipping merchant and the captain of the vessel would gain by the death of a 
part of the passengers, for the dead did not require any more food and pro- 
vision. It seems that many acted on this principle. The ships were often 
so overcrowded that a part of the passengers had to sleep on deck. Christoph 
Saur, in his petition to the governor of Pennsylvania in 1775, asserts that at 
times there were not more than twelve inches room for each passenger (I 
presume he means sleeping room below deck), and but half sufficient bread 
and water. Casper Wister, of Philadelphia, in 1752, writes, ' Last year a 
ship was twenty-four weeks at sea, and of the one hundred and fifty passengers 
on board thereof more than one hundred died of hunger and privation, and 
the survivors were imprisoned and compelled to pay the entire passage-money 
for themselves and the deceased.' In this year ten ships arrived in Philadel- 
phia with five thousand passengers. One ship was seventeen weeks at sea, 
and about sixty passengers thereof died. Christoph Saur, in 1758, estimates 
that two thousand of the passengers on the fifteen ships which arrived that 
year died during the voyage. Heinrich Keppele, the first president of the 
German Society of Pennsylvania, writes in his diarv that of the three hun- 
dred and twelve passengers on board of the ship wherein he crossed the 

340 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

ocean, two hundred and fifty died during the voyage. In February, 1775, 
Christoph Saur relates in his newspaper, ' Another ship has arrived. Of the 
four hundred passengers, not more than fifty are reported ahve. They re- 
ceived their bread every two weeks. Some ate their portion in four, five, and 
six days, which should have lasted fifteen days. If they received no cooked 
victuals in eight days, their bread gave out the sooner, and as they had to 
wait until the fifteen days were over, they starved, unless they had money 
with which to buy of the mate flour at three pence sterling a pound, and a 
bottle of wine for seven kopstick thalers.' Then he relates how a man and 
his wife, who had ate their bread within eight days, crawled to the captain 
and begged him to throw them overboard, to relieve them of their misery, as 
they could not survive till bread-day. The captain refused to do it, and the 
mate in mockery gave them a bag filled with sand and coals. . The man and 
his wife died of hunger before the bread-day arrived. But, notwithstanding, 
the survivors had to pay for the bread which the dead ought to have had. 
Pennsylvania, in 1765, at the instigation of the German Society, passed 
rigorous laws for the protection of the Redemptioners, but Maryland re- 
mained inactive until more than fifty years later." — Hennighausen. 

In Pennsylvania this traffic in white people continued until about 183 1, 
when public sentiment compelled it to be discontinued. 

Fifty thousand white people were thus sold in Virginia, and many of 
them bartered for tobacco. 




CHAPTER XVII 



PIONEER MONEY 



" The subject of a national mint for the United States was first intro- 
duced by Robert Morris, the patriot and financier of the Revolution. As 
head of the finance department, Mr. Morris was instructed by Congress 
to prepare a report on the foreign coins then in circulation in the United 
States. On the 15th of January, 1782, he laid before Congress an expo- 
sition of the whole subject. Accompanying this report was a plan for Ameri- 
can coinage. But it was mainly through his efforts, in connection with 
Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, that a mint was established in 
the early history of the Union of the States. On the 15th of April, 1790, 
Congress instructed the Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, to 
prepare and report a proper plan for the establishment of a national mint, 
and Mr. Hamilton presented his report at the next session. An act was 
framed establishing the mint, which finally passed both houses and received 
President Washington's approval April 2, 1792. 

"A lot of ground was purchased on Seventh Street near Arch, and 
appropriations were made for erecting the requisite buildings. An old still- 
house, which stood on the lot, had first to be removed. In an account-book 
of that time we find an entry on the 31st of July, 1792, of the sale of some 
old materials of the still-house for seven shillings and sixpence, which ' Mr. 
Rittenhouse directed should be laid out for punch in laying the foundation- 
stone.' 

" The first building erected in the United States for pubHc use under 
the authority of the federal government was a structure for the United States 
Mmt. This was a plain brick edifice, on the east side of Seventh Street near 
Arch, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the corner-stone of which was laid by 
David Rittenhouse, director of the mint, on July 31, 1792. In the following 
October operations of coining commenced. It was occupied for about forty 
years. On the 19th of May, 1829, an act was passed by Congress locating the 
United States Mint on its present site. 

" The first coinage of the United States was silver half-dimes, in Octo- 
ber, 1792, of which Washington makes mention in his address to Congress 
on November 6, 1792, as follows : ' There has been a small beginning fn the 
coinage of half-dimes, the want of small coins in circulation calling the first 
attention to them.' The first metal purchased for coinage was sfx pounds 

342 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

of old copper at one shilling and three pence per pound, which was coined 
and delivered to the treasurer in 1793. The first deposit of silver bullion was 
made on July 18, 1794, by the Bank of Maryland. It consisted of ' coins of 
France/ amounting to eighty thousand seven hundred and fifteen dollars and 
seventy-three and a half cents. The first returns of silver coins to the treas- 
urer was made on October, 15, 1794. The first deposit of gold bullion for 
coinage was made by Moses Brown, merchant, of Boston, on February 12, 
1705; it was of gold ingots, worth two thousand two hundred and seventy- 
six dollars and seventy- two cents, which was paid for in silver coins. 

" The first return of gold coinage was on July 31, 1795, and consisted of 
seven hundred and forty-four half-eagles. The first delivery of eagles was 
on September 22, same year, and consisted of four hundred pieces. 

" Previous to the coinage of silver dollars at the Philadelphia Mint, in 
1794, the following amusing incidents occurred in Congress while the em- 
blems and devices proposed for the reverse field of that coin were being 
discussed. 

" A member of the House from the South bitterly opposed the choice 
of the eagle, on the ground of its being the ' king of birds,' and hence 
neither proper nor suitable to represent a nation whose institutions and in- 
terests were wholly inimical to monarchical forms of government. Judge 
Thatcher playfully, in reply, suggested that perhaps a goose might suit the 
gentleman, as it was a rather humble and republican bird, and would also be 
serviceable in other respects, as the goslings would answer to place upon the 
dimes. This answer created considerable merriment, and the irate Southerner, 
conceiving the humorous rejoinder as an insult, sent a challenge to the judge, 
who promptly declined it. The bearer, rather astonished, asked, ' Will you 
be branded as a coward ?' ' Certainly, if he pleases,' replied Thatcher ; ' I 
always was one, and he knew it, or he would never have risked a challenge.' 
The affair occasioned much mirth, and, in due time, former existing cordial 
relations were restored between the parties, the irritable Southerner concluding 
there was nothing to be gained in fighting with one who fired nothing but 
jokes. 

" Previous to the passage of the law by the federal government for regu- 
lating the coins of the United States, much perplexity arose from the use of 
no less than four different currencies or rates, at which one species of coin 
was recoined, in the different parts of the Union. Thus, in New Hampshire, 
Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, Virginia, and 
Kentucky the dollar was recoined at six shillings ; in New York and North 
Carolina at eight shillings; in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland at 
seven shillings and six pence ; in Georgia and South Carolina at four shillings 
and eight pence. The subject had engaged the attention of the Congress of 
the old confederation, and the present system of the coins is formed upon the 
principles laid down in their resolution of 1786, by which the denominations 

343 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

of money of account were required to be dollars (the dollar to be the unit), 
dimes or tenths, cents or hundredths, and mills or thousandths of a dollar. 
Nothing can be more simple or convenient than this decimal subdivision. The 
terms are proper because they express the proportions which they are intended 
to designate. The dollar was wisely chosen, as it corresponded with the 
Spanish coin, with which we had been long familiar." — G. G. Evans's History 
of the United States Mint. 

TABLE OF THE DENOMINATIONS OF UNITED STATES MONEY 

Standard Weight as established by Law 

Dwt. Gr. 

I cent 3 12 

lo mills make i cent 7 00 

h dime o 201*5 

10 cents make i dime i lyx'sr 

i dollar 4 8 

J dollar 8 16 

10 dimes make i dollar 17 8 

T eagle 2 i6f^ 

i eagle 5 9 

10 dollars make i eagle 10 18 

The mills were imaginary and never coined. The old cents were made 
of copper, round, and about one inch in diameter and one-sixth of an inch 
in thickness. Silver was first coined into money eight hundred and sixty-nine 
years before Christ. 

PIONEER BANKS 

The pioneer act of the Legislature of Pennsylvania regulating banks was 
passed March 21, 1813, but Governor Snyder vetoed the bill. On March 21, 
1814, this bill was " log-rolled" through the Legislature and became a law 
over Governor Snyder's veto. Previous to that time banks were organized 
under articles of association. 

CURRENCY 

" The best currency of those times was New York bank-notes, and the 
poorest those of the Western banks. Pennsylvania bank-notes had only a 
small circulation in the country, and held a place in popular estimation inter- 
mediate between the above. There was a discount on all these, ranging from 
one to twenty per cent. It was for the interest of the private bankers to cir- 
culate the notes on which there was the largest discount, and as a consequence 
the county was flooded with the bills of banks the locations of which were 
hardly known. Every business man had to keep a ' Bank-Note Detector,' 
revised and published monthly or weekly, on hand, and was not sure then that 
the notes he accepted would not be pronounced worthless by the next mail. 

344 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

There was hardly a week without a bank faikire, and nearly every man had 
bills of broken banks in his possession. To add to the perplexities of the 
situation, there were innumerable counterfeits which could with difficulty be 
distinguished from the genuine. Granting that the bank was good, and that 
the discount was properly figured, there was no assurance that the bill was 
what it purported to be. All this was a terrible annoyance and loss to the 
people, but it was a regular bonanza to the ' shaving-shops.' Even of the 
uncertain bank-notes there was not enough to do the business of the com- 
munity. Most of the buying and selUng was done on long credit, and occa- 
sionally a manufacturing firm, to ease itself along and relieve the necessities 
of the public, would issue a mongrel coin, which went by the name of ' pewter- 
inctum.' " 

Up to i860 the business of the country was greatly carried on by a cur- 
rency of State banks, orders, and county orders, and the more you had of 
this money sometimes the poorer you were. We have now (1901) three 
thousand eight hundred and twenty-eight millionaires in the United States. 
Up to about i860 there were not more than six or seven millionaires in the 
country. Eighty-seven per cent, of our millionaires under our improved 
conditions, have built their own fortunes, and most of these from extreme 
poverty. 




CHAPTER XVIII 



" SCOTCH-IRISH" ORIGIN OF THE TERM UNDER JAMES I. LORDS AND LAIRDS 

EARLY SETTLERS IN PENNSYLVANIA 

SCOTCH-IRISH 

The term " Scotch-Irish" is so frequently used, particularly in Pennsyl- 
vania, and is so little understood, even by those who claim such relationship, 
that I consider it appropriate in this place to explain its derivation. In the 
time of James I. of England, the Irish earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnell con- 
spired against his government, fled from Ireland, were proclaimed outlaws, 
and their estates, consisting of about five hundred thousand acres of land, 
were seized by the crown. The king divided these lands into small tracts, 
and gave tracts to persons from his own country (Scotland), on the sole 
condition that each individual securing a tract of land should cross over into 
Ireland within four years and reside upon the land permanently. A second 
insurrection soon after gave occasion for another large forfeiture, and nearly 
six counties in the province of Ulster were confiscated and taken possession 
of by the officers of the crown. King James was a zealous sectarian, and his 
primary object was to root out the native Irish, who were all Catholics, hostile 
to his government, and almost continually plotting against it, and to populate 
Ireland with those from his own country (Scotland), whom he knew would 
be loyal to him. 

The distance from Scotland to County Antrim, in Ireland, was but twenty 
miles. The lands offered by James free of cost were among the best and most 
productive in the Emerald Isle, though they had been made barren by the 
strifes of the times and the indolence of a degraded peasantry. Having the 
power of the government to encourage and protect them, the inducements 
offered to the industrious Scotch could not be resisted. Thousands went over. 
Many of them, though not lords, were lairds, or those who held lands direct 
from the crown, and all were men of enterprise and energy, and above the 
average in intelligence. They went to work to restore the land to fruitfulness, 
and to show the superiority of their habits and belief compared with those of 
the natives among whom they settled. They soon made to blossom as a rose 
the counties of Antrim, Armagh, Caven, Donegal, Down, Fermanagh, Lon- 
donderry, Monaghan, and Tyrone,— all names familiar to Northwestern Penn- 
sylvania settlers. 

These were the first Protestants to settle in Ireland, and they at once 

346 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

secured the ascendency in the counties in which they settled, and their de- 
scendants have maintained that ascendency to the present time against the 
efforts of the Church of England on the one hand and the Roman Catholic 
Church on the other. These Scots refused to intermarry with the Irish who 
surrounded them. The Scotch were Saxon in blood and Presbyterian in 
religion, while the Irish were Celtic in blood and Roman Catholic in religion. 
These were elements that would not coalesce ; hence the races are as distinct 
in Ireland to-day, after a lapse of more than two hundred and fifty years, as 
when the Scotch first crossed over. The term Scotch-Irish is purely American. 
It is not used in Ireland ; in the United States it is given to the Protestant 
emigrants from the north of Ireland, simply because they were descendants 
of the Scots who had in former times taken up their residence in Ireland. 

But few Scotch-Irish emigrants found their way to the Province of Penn- 
sylvania prior to 1719- Those that came in that year came from the north 
of Ireland. Subsequently the descendants of the Scots in Ireland were 
bitterly persecuted by the English government; hence thousands of them 
migrated to and settled in Pennsylvania. In 1729, thousands of Scotch-Irish 
arrived in Philadelphia from Ireland, as well as some English, Welsh, and 
Scotch people, many of whom were sold in servitude for a term of from three 
to seven years, for about forty dollars each, to pay passage-money or for their 
goods. For a further description of this form of slavery, see chapter on 
German Redemptioners, p. 310. 

In September, 1736, one thousand Scotch-Irish families sailed from Bel- 
fast because of an inability to renew their land leases upon satisfactory terms, 
and the most of these people settled in the eastern and middle counties of 
Pennsylvania. By a change of residence they hoped to find an unrestrained 
field for the exercise of industry and skill, and for the enjoyment of religious 
opinions. They brought with them a hatred of oppression and a love of free- 
dom that served much to give that independent tone to the sentiments of the 
people of the province which prevailed in their controversies with the English 
government years before these Scots entertained a thought of American 
political independence. 

The Scotch-Irish who settled in the Cumberland Valley of Pennsylvania 
brought its fair lands under cultivation. They fought the savages and stood 
as a wall of fire against savage forays eastward. It is said that between 177 1 
and 1773 over twenty-five thousand of these Scotch-Irish were driven from 
Ireland by the rapacity of Irish lairds or landlords, and located either in that 
rich valley or west of the Allegheny Mountains in Pennsylvania. This was 
just before the Revolutionary War, and while the angry controversies that 
preceded it were taking place between the colonists and the English govern- 
ment. Hence these Pennsylvanians were in just the right frame of mind to 
make them espouse to a man the side of the patriots. A Tory was unheard of 
among them. They were found as military leaders in all times of danger, and 

347 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

were among the most prominent law-makers through and after the seven 
years' struggle for freedom and human rights. The Scotch-Irish in the 
United States have furnished Presidents, United States Senators, Congress- 
men, judges, and many others in civil as well as in all stations of life. 

The pioneers of Northwestern Pennsylvania were made up principally 
of these Scotch-Irish or their descendants. I am indebted to the " History 
of Franklin County, Pennsylvania," 1876, for the data and facts contained in 
this article. 




CHAPTER XIX 



THE COMMON SCHOOL SYSTEM ITS INCEPTION INTRODUCTION INTO AMERICA 

— STATE EFFORT HISTORY OF EDUCATION IN THE STATE — PROGRESS OF 

EDUCATION, ETC. 

As an introduction to this chapter, I cannot do better than reproduce an 
extract from a speech delivered by myself before a convention of Jefferson 
Covmty school directors, — viz. : 

" Gentlemen of the Convention, — I thank you for this honor. I 
highly appreciate it. As the representatives of thirty-two school districts, 
two hundred and forty schools, and twelve thousand pupils, we have met this 
day to consider modes and methods by which we can best advance the cause 
of education. This is wise and patriotic. Perhaps it might be well as an 
introduction to our work to review a little history as to the origin and present 
status of our common schools. Martin Luther, a German, was the first to 
advocate the public school system. This he did in 1524, ably, vigorously, and 
boldly. He asserted that the ' government, as the natural guardian of all the 
young, has the right to compel the people to support schools.' He further 
said, ' Now, nothing is more necessary than the training of those who are to 
come after us and bear rule.' The education of the young of all classes in 
free schools was one of the objects nearest Luther's heart. Scotland is the 
only other country of Europe that took an early interest in public school edu- 
cation. In 1560, John Knox urged the necessity of schools for the poor. 
These grand humane impulses of John Knox and other Scotch fathers have 
spread abroad, ' wide as the waters be,' only to germinate, bud, and bloom into 
the grandest social, theological, and political conditions ever attained by man. 
But it remained for the Puritan fathers of New England (America) to 
completely develop the common school system of our time. In New England 
education early made great progress. Under the eaves of their church the 
Puritans always built a school-house. As early as 1635, Boston had a school 
for ' the teaching of all children with us.' In 1647, Massachusetts made the 
support of schools compulsory and education universal and free by the enact- 
ment of the following law, — viz. : ' It is therefore ordered that every township 
in this jurisdiction, after the Lord hath increased them to the number of fifty 
householders, shall then forthwith appoint one within the town to teach all 
such children as shall resort to him to write and read, whose wages shall be 

349 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

paid either by the parents or masters of such children, or by the inhabitants 
in general by way of supply, as the major part of those who ordered the 
prudentials of the town shall appoint, provided those that send their children 
be not oppressed by paying much more than they can have them taught for 
in other towns.' In Connecticut, in 1665, every town that did not keep a school 
for three months in the year was liable to a fine. On April i, a.d. 1834, one 
hundred and eighty-seven years later than the enactment of the common school 
law of Massachusetts, the law creating the common school system of Penn- 
sylvania was approved by George Wolf, governor. Our second State superin- 




Thomas H. Burrows 



tendent of public instruction was appointed under this law. His name was 
Thomas H. Burrows. 

"The foundation of our common school system was built by the con- 
vention to form a State constitution in 1790. The article as incorporated in 
that document reads as follows : 

'"Section i. The Legislature shall, as soon as conveniently may be, 
provided by law for the establishment of schools throughout the State, in such 
a manner that the poor may be taught gratis. 

Section 2. The arts and sciences shall be promoted in one or more 
semmaries of learning.' 

, r I^'" "^?.'f """"^ ^'^'""^^ ^^^ als° incorporated into the constitution 
ot 183S. But little effort was made under the first constitution by legislative 
bodies to establish schools under the first section. Their only aim seemed to 

350 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

be to aid the churches and neighborhood schools to carry on the work the}' 
had been doing for a hundred years. The pioneer effort by the Legislature 
seems to have been in 1794, when, on December 8, 1794, a committee was 
appointed by the House to report a proper mode of carrying into effect that 
part of the governor's message in regard to schools. The committee reported 
as follows : 

"'Resolved, That schools may be established throughout the State, in 
such a manner that the poor may be taught gratis. 

Resolved, That one-fifth part of the expense necessary to support the 
masters of said schools be paid out of the general funds of the State. 

" ' Resolved, That the remaining four-fifths of the said expense be paid 
in each county, respectively, by means of a county tax. 

Resolved, That the said schools be put under the direction of trustees 
in each county, subject to such limitations and regulations, as to the distribu- 
tion of their funds, the appointment of masters, and their general arrange- 
ments, as shall be provided by law. 

" ' Resolved, That the schools thus established shall be free schools, and 
that at least spelling, reading, writing, and arithmetic shall be taught therein. 

" ' Resolved, That ten thousand dollars a year be appropriated out of 
the funds of this Commonwealth to encourage the establishment of academies, 
in which grammar, the elements of mathematics, geography, and history shall 
be taught. 

" ' Resolved, That the said sum be apportioned amongst the city and 
several counties of the State in proportion to their respective population. 

"'Resolved, That whenever a sum sufficient, with the addition of the 
sums proposed to be given by the public, to support an academy for the 
purpose aforesaid shall have been subscribed, or contributed, the additional 
sum of one hundred dollars a year shall be given out of the public treasury 
in aid of such academy. 

" ' Resolved, That when the number of academies in any county shall be 
so great that the sum to which such county is entitled becomes insufficient to 
afford one. hundred dollars to each, it shall be divided by the trustees afore- 
said among the whole of such academies, in proportion to the number of 
masters employed and scholars taught, and the length of time in each during 
which each academy is so kept and supported. 

" ' Resolved, That whenever a sum is subscribed and contributed suf- 
ficient, if added to the income of any of the inferior schools, to procure the 
instruction contemplated to be given in the academies, such school shall be- 
come an academy and receive the additional bounty of one hundred dollars 
as aforesaid, subject to a reduction in the manner aforesaid.' 

"A bill was prepared in accordance with these resolutions and passed 
both branches, but was lost in conference committee. This was forty years 
before the enactment of 1834." 

351 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

THE PIONEER ACT 

On March i, 1802, Governor McKean approved the pioneer law of this 
State making a provision for the education of the poor, the title being " An 
Act to provide for the Education of Poor Children gratis." 

It was found that the act of 1802 was unsatisfactory, and, in the hope 
of betterment, an act of 1804 was passed entitled " An Act to provide for the 
more Effectual Education of the Children of the Poor gratis." 

Agitation and discussion over this law resulted in the act of 1809, better 
drawn, with the same title and aim. 

THE LAW OF 1809 
" AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE EDUCATION OF THE POOR GRATIS 

•• Section i. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives 
of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in General Assembly met, and it is 
hereby enacted by the authority of the same. That it shall be the duty of 
the Commissioners of the several counties within this Commonwealth, at 
the time of issuing their precepts to the assessors, annually to direct and 
require the assessor of each and every township, ward, and district to receive 
from the parents the names of all the children between the ages of five and 
twelve years who reside therein, and whose parents are unable to pay for their 
schooling ; and the Commissioners when they hold appeals shall hear all per- 
sons who may apply for alterations or additions of names in the said list, and 
make all such alterations as to them shall appear just and reasonable, and 
agreeably to the true intent and meaning of this act; and after adjustment 
they shall transmit a correct copy thereof to the respective assessor, requiring 
him to inform the parents of the children therein contained that they are at 
liberty to send them to the most convenient school free of expense; and the 
said assessor, for any neglect of the above duty, shall forfeit and pay the 
sum of five dollars, to be sued for by any person, and recovered as debts of 
that amount are now recoverable, and to be paid into the county treasury, for 
county purposes : Provided always, That the names of no children whose edu- 
cation is otherwise provided for shall be received by the assessors of any town- 
ship or district. 

" Section 2. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That 
the said assessor shall send a list of the names of the children aforesaid to the 
teachers of schools within his township, ward, or district, whose duty it shall 
be to teach all such children as may come to their schools in the same manner 
as other children are taught, and each teacher shall keep a day-book, in which 
he shall enter the number of days each child entitled to the provisions of this 
act shall be taught, and he shall also enter in said book the amount of all 
stationery furnished for the use of said child, from which book he shall make 
out his account against the county, on oath or affirmation, agreeably to the 

352 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

usual rates of charging for tuition in the said school, subject to the examina- 
tion and revision of the trustees of the school where there are any ; but where 
there are no trustees, to three reputable subscribers to the school ; which ac- 
count, after being so examined or revised, he shall present to the County 
Commissioners, who, if they approve thereof, shall draw their order on the 
county treasurer for the amount, which he is hereby authorized and directed 
to pay of any moneys in the treasury. 

" Approved — the fourth day of April, one thousand eight hundred and 
nine. 

" Simon Snyder." 

Each of these acts compelled parents to publish to the world their poverty 
and to send their children to school as paupers. 




Governor Joseph Ritner 

The method of organizing schools and hiring masters under these laws 
was as follows : A school-meeting was called by a notice posted in the district. 
The inhabitants then met and elected in their own way three of their number 
to act as a committee or as trustees with power to hire a master or mistress, 
and this committee executed a supervision over the school. A rate bill was 
always made out by the master and handed to the committee, who collected 
the moneys and paid it to the master. 

The pioneer and early modes of school discipline were the cat-o'-nine- 
tails and the rod, carrying the offender on the back of a pupil and then 
23 353 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

flogging him, setting the boys with the girls and the girls with the boys, 
fastening a split stick to the ear or the nose, laying the scholar over the knee 
and applying the ferule to the part on which he sat. These punishments lasted 
for years after the common schools came into use. For the benefit of young 
teachers I will give the mode of correction. The masters invariably kept what 
was called toms, or, more vulgarly, cat-o'nine-tails, all luck being in odd 
numbers. This instrument of torture was an oaken stick about twelve inches 
long to which was attached a piece of raw-hide cut into strips, twisted while 
wet, and then dried. It was freely used for correction, and those who were 
thus corrected did not soon forget it, and not a few carried the marks during 
life. Another and no less cruel instrument was a green cow-hide. Comment 
upon the above is useless, as the words cruelty and barbarity will suggest 
themselves to the minds of all who read it. For our text-books we had Dil- 
worth's and the " United States Speller," and our readers were the good old 
Bible and Testament. The " Western Calculator" was all the arithmetic that 
was in use, and the one who got through the " rule of three" was called 
tolerably good in figures, and the lucky wight who got through the book was 
considered a graduate in mathematics. Grammar and geography were not 
taught in common schools, being considered higher branches. 

Not one of the governors of the State during the time the law of 1809 
was in force believed it met the requirements of the constitution, hence in 
1824 an act was passed repealing it and another one substituted. The new 
act was violently opposed, never went into effect, was repealed in 1826, and 
the act of 1809 was re-enacted. The policy enforced in our State for fifty 
years after the Revolutionary War was the endowment of academies and the 
free instruction of poor children in church and neighborhood schools. 

Governor Wolf, in 1833-34, made education the leading topic of his 
message. Among other things he said, — 

" To provide by law ' for the establishment of schools throughout the 
State, and in such a manner that the poor may be taught gratis,' is one of 
the public measures to which I feel it to be my duty now to call your attention, 
and most solemnly to press upon your consideration. Our apathy and in- 
difference in reference to this subject becomes the more conspicuous when we 
reflect that whilst we are expending millions for the physical condition of the 
State, we have not hitherto appropriated a single dollar that is available for 
the intellectual improvement of its youth, which, in a moral and political 
point of view, is of tenfold more consequence, either as respects the moral 
influence of the State or its political power and safety. 

"According to the returns of the last census, we have in Pennsylvania 
five hundred and eighty-one thousand one hundred and eighty children under 
the age of fifteen years, and one hundred and forty-nine thousand and eighty- 
nine between the ages of fifteen and twenty years, forming an aggregate of 
seven hundred and thirty thousand two hundred and sixty-nine juvenile per- 

354 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

sons of both sexes under the age of twenty years, most of them requiring more 
or less instruction. And yet with all this numerous youthful population grow- 
ing up around us, who, in a few years, are to be our rulers and our law- 
givers, the defenders of our country and the pillars of the State, and upon 
whose education will depend in great measure the preservation of our liberties 
and the safety of the republic, we have neither schools established for their 
instruction nor provision made b\- law for establishing them as enjoined by 
the constitution." 

In 1827 William Audenreid, then a senator from Schuylkill County, 
introduced a bill into the Senate, the title of which was, " To provide a Fund 
in support of a General System of Education in Pennsvlvania." This bill 




Governor George Wolf 

passed the Senate that session, but was defeated in the House, but being 
urged and pressed every session it became a law on April 2, 1831. This law 
entitled Senator Audenreid to be called the author of our school system. The 
law read as follows : 

" Section i. That there shall be and there hereby is established a fund, 
to be denominated a Common School Fund, and the Secretary of the Com- 
monwealth, the Auditor-General, and the Secretary of the Land-Office shall 
be Commissioners thereof, who, or a majority of them, in addition to the 
duties they now perform, shall receive and manage such moneys and other 
things as shall pertain to such fund, in the most advantageous manner, and 
shall receive and hold to the use of said fund all such gifts, grants, and dona- 

355 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

tions as may be made ; and that said Commissioners shall keep a correct record 
of their proceedings, which, together with all papers and documents relative 
to said fund, shall be kept and preserved in the office of the Auditor-General. 
•• Section 2. That from and after the passage of this act, all moneys 
due and owing this Commonwealth by the holders of all unpatented lands ; 
also all moneys secured to the Commonwealth by mortgages or liens on land 
for the purchase money of the same ; also all moneys paid to the State Treas- 
urer on any application hereafter entered, or any warrant hereafter granted 
for land, as also fees received in the land-office, as well as all moneys received 
in pursuance of the provisions of the fourth section of an act entitled ' An 
Act to increase the County Rates and Levies for the Use of the Common- 
wealth,' approved the twenty-fifth day of March, 1831, be and the same are 
hereby transferred and assigned to the Common School Fund; and that at 
the expiration of twelve months after the passage of this act, and regularh- 
at the expiration of every twelve months thereafter, the State Treasurer shall 




Pioneer school-house 

report to the said Commissioners the amount of money thus received by him 
during the twelve months last preceding, together with a certificate of the 
amount thereof, and that the same is held by the Commonwealth for the use 
of the Common School Fund, at an interest of five per cent. 

" Section 3. That the interest of the moneys belonging to said fund 
shall be added to the principal as it becomes due, and the whole amount thereof 
shall be held by the Commonwealth, and remain subject to the provisions of 
an act entitled ' An Act relative to the Pennsylvania Canal and Railroad,' 
approved the twenty-second of April, 1829, until the interest thereof shall 
amount to the sum of one hundred thousand dollars annually, after which the 
interest shall be annually distributed and applied to the support of common 
schools throughout this Commonwealth, in such a manner as shall hereafter 
be provided by law." 

In 1834 there were four thousand school-cabins like the accompanying 

3S6 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

illustration in Pennsylvania, built on the neighborhood plan under the law of 
1809. 

About those little school-houses were formed many ties which bound 
men and women together as friends in long succeeding years. Around those 
little temples of learning I have seen 

" The hoop, the bow and arrow. 

The soaring of the kite and swing, 
The humming of the 'over-ball,' 

And the marbles in the ring ; 
The sleds, the rope, and sliding-boards. 

The races down the yard, 
And the war of snow-ball armies. 

The victors and the scarred." 

The creation of the common schools in Pennsylvania was not the work 
of any one man or set of men, nor was it imported from any other State. It 




Hon. Thaddeus Stevens 



was the outgrowth of freedom. In a, book like mine I cannot enumerate all 
the glorious workers in the fight. The Pennsylvania Society for the Promo- 
tion of Public Schools, organized in Philadelphia in 1827, was a great factor 
in the work. Senator Audenreid, Dr. Anderson, and Senator Smith, of Dela- 
ware County; N. B. Fetterman, of Bedford; Samuel Breck, a senator from 
Philadelphia; and Thaddeus Stevens, all deserve to be forever remembered 
for their able and untiring labor in this direction. 

357 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

The pioneer school in the United States for the education of teachers 
was the model school of Philadelphia, established and opened in 1838. The 
finest and most costly educational structures in the world are the Girard Col- 
lege buildings in Philadelphia. The pioneer law enacted in the interest of 
female education was by New York State in 1818. The first female assistant 
in a seminary was in 1822. 

In the session of 1834, Samuel Breck, a senator from Philadelphia, was 
made chairman of a joint committee on education. The members of this 
committee on the part of the Senate were Samuel Breck, Charles B. Penrose, 
William Jackson, Almon H. Read, and William Boyd ; of the House, Samuel 
Anderson, William Patterson, James Thompson, James Clarke, John Wie- 
gand, Thomas H. Crawford, and Wilmer Worthington. This committee 
secured all possible information on the subject from all sources. The author 
of the bill as passed was Samuel Breck. It was but little discussed and met 
with but little opposition in the Legislature. 

COMMON SCHOOL NOTICE 

" For the purpose of settling controversies, of collecting and imparting 
information connected with the Common School System, so as to produce 
harmony and vigor in every department of its operations, the Superintendent 
will be at the county towns mentioned in the following lists on the days 
therein designated at ten o'clock a.m. 

" Directors, Teachers, and all others who may have business to- transact 
with the Superintendent, under the 4th paragraph of loth section of the 
school law, will meet him at their proper county towns on the days respec- 
tively named. As the chain of appointments now made will not admit of 
more than one day's delay at each place, early and punctual attendance is 
earnestly requested. 

" Beaver, Wednesday, August 23. Butler, Friday, August 25. Mercer, 
Monday, August 28. Meadville, Wednesday, August 30. Erie, Saturday, 
September 2. Franklin, Monday, September 11. Brookville, Thursday, 
September 14. 

" Thos. H. Burrows, 
" Superintendent Common Schools. 
" Secretary's Office, Harrisbukg, July 18, 1837." 

THE L.\W OF 1834 AND ITS WORKINGS 

" Whereas, It is enjoined by the constitution, as a solemn duty which 
cannot be neglected without a disregard of the moral and political safety of the 
people ; and 

" Whereas, The fund for the common school purposes, under the act 
of the 2d of April, 183 1, will, on the 4th of April next, amount to the sum 

.358 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

of $546,563.72, and will soon reach the sum of $2,000,000, when it will pro- 
duce at five per cent an increase of $100,000, which, by said act, is to be paid 
for the support of common schools ; and 

" Whereas, Provisions should be made by law for the distribution of 
the benefits of this fund to the people of the respective counties of the Com- 
monwealth ; therefore, 

" Section i. Be it enacted, etc., That the city and county of Philadel- 
phia, and every other county in this Commonwealth, shall each form a school 
division, and that every ward, township, and borough, within the several 
school divisions, shall each form a school district. 

" Section 2. It shall be the duty of the sheriff of each county, thirty 
days previous to the third Friday in September of the current year, 1834, to 
give notice, by proclamation, to the citizens of each school district to hold 
elections in their respective townships, wards, and boroughs at the places 
where they hold their elections for supervisors, town councils, and constables, 
to choose six citizens,, of each school district, to serve as school directors of 
said districts respectively ; which elections shall, on the said day, be conducted 
and held in the same manner as elections for supervisors and constables are 
by law held and conducted ; and on the day of the next annual election of 
supervisors in the respective townships, and of constables in the respective 
cities of the Commonwealth, a new election for directors shall take place in 
the said townships, boroughs, and cities, at which election, and annually there- 
after at that time, and in manijer and form aforesaid, two directors shall be 
chosen, who shall serve for three years ; the sherifif giving thirty days' notice 
previous to such election." 

The law of 1831, of Senator Audenreid, is the foundation-stone, and that 
of 1834 and the act of 1837 completed our common school system, erroneously 
called " the free school system." 

The pioneer and early State appropriations to the common schools were 
as follows: 1835 and 1836, each, $75,000; 1837, $700,000; 1838,1839,1840, 
each, $108,919; 1 84 1, $330,000; 1842, $200,000 ; 1843, $250,000 ; 1844,1845, 
1846, 1847, 1848, 1849, 1850, 1851, 1852, 1853, each, $200,000; 1854, 1855, 
each, $230,000 ; 1856, $231,500; 1857, 1858, 1859, i860, 1861, each, $280,000. 

teacher's institute and academies 

The pioneer Teachers' Institute in the United States was held in Connec- 
ticut in 1839 ; in New York in 1842 ; and in Massachusetts and Ohio in 1845. 

The pioneer institute in Pennsylvania was in Lawrence County for one 
week, October 27, 185 1. 

In Crawford County a female seminary was incorporated at Meadville, 
in 1802. In 1806 the State gave one thousand dollars. 

At New Castle, Lawrence County, a female seminary was chartered in 
1838, and flourished for ten years. 

359 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

The Tioga County Academy was incorporated in 1817, and received 
State aid. 

Smethport Academy, in McKean County, was chartered in 1829, but not 
opened until 1837. 

Mercer Academy was chartered in 181 1. 

Potter County Academy was incorporated in 1838. 

Venango Academy was chartered in 1812; building erected in 1815. 

Warren County Academy was chartered in 1822. The first building was 
one story. The second building was erected in 1834—35. 

It was the rule in this wilderness for any boy who wished an education 
to attend the winter term of school at home until fit to teach a country school, 
then to teach in winter and work in summer until he could earn and save 
enough money to attend an academy. Well, but how did he get to the 
academy? Why he simply walked a hundred miles or more if necessary. 




CHAPTER XX 



STATISTICS OF 184O 

In 1840 there were in the northwest purchase but nine erected and com- 
plete counties, — to wit, Butler, Crawford, Jefferson, McKean, Mercer, Potter, 
Tioga, Venango, and Warren. Butler County had twenty-two thousand three 
hundred and seventy-one people, and the county contained fifteen towns, 
townships, and boroughs, — to wit, Buffalo, Clearfield, Donegal, Centre, 
Parker, Venango, Mercer, Middlesex, Cherry, Slippery Rock, Butler Borough, 
Butler, Muddy Creek, Conoquenessing, and Cranberry. In that year Butler 
County had three charcoal furnaces, with an output of six hundred and twenty- 
five tons. The amount of coal mined in the county was one hundred and two 
thousand three hundred bushels; number of miners employed, thirty-one. 
Retail stores in the county, fifty-five, with a capital of $172,850. Value of 
hats and caps manufactured in the county, $3750. Number of tanneries, 
twenty-two; number of men employed, thirty-one. Number of distilleries, 
thirteen. Number of breweries, two. Number of printing-offices, two. Num- 
ber of oil-mills, four. Number of saw-mills, sixty-four. Number of grist- 
mills, fifty-four. 

CRAWFORD COUNTY 

In 1840 Crawford County had thirty-seven thousand seven hundred and 
twenty-four people, and the county contained twenty-seven towns, townships, 
and boroughs, — to wit, South Shenango, Greenwood, Venango, Fallowfield, 
Randolph, Woodcock, Vernon, Mead, Summerhill, Sadsbury, Meadville 
Borough, Sparta, Oil Creek, Richmond, Rome Cossawago, Beaver, Wayne, 
Bloomfield, Rockdale, Athens, Troy, Hayfield, Spring, Conneaut, Fairfield, 
and North Shenango. In that year Crawford County had two charcoal fur- 
naces. The coal output was two thousand tons ; number of miners employed, 
six. Retail stores in the county, sixty-two, with a capital of $196,200. Value 
of hats and caps manufactured, four thousand. Number of tanneries, four- 
teen ; number of men employed twenty-six. Number of distilleries, fourteen. 
Number of breweries, one. Number of paper-mills, two. Number of print- 
ing-offices, two. Number of grist-mills, thirty-nine. Number of saw-mills, 
one hundred and twenty-nine. Number of oil-mills, two. These were flax- 
seed mills, making linseed oil. These mills were quite numerous in North- 
western Pennsylvania, and an industry, of impoi-tance and profit. 

361 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

JEFFERSON COUNTY 

In 1840 Jefferson County had seven thousand two hundred and fifty- three 
people, and the county contained thirteen towns, townships, and boroughs, — 
to wit, Brookville Borough, Rose, Washington, Snyder, Ridgway, Eldred, 
Tionesta, Barnett, Jenks, Pine Creek, Porter, Perry, and Young. The output 
of coal that year was two thousand five hundred tons; number of miners 
employed, two. The total sale of furs and pelts was $1029. Number of 
tanneries, six ; number of men employed, seven. Number of distilleries, two. 
Number of grist-mills, fourteen. Number of saw-mills, sixty-eight. Number 
of stores, nineteen. Maple sugar, twenty seven thousand and sixty-seven 
pounds. Value of lumber output, $50,603. 



M KEAN COUNTY 

In 1840 McKean County had two thousand nine hundred and seventy- 
five people, and the county contained nine towns, townships, and boroughs, 
— to wit, Keating, Ceres, Bradford, Corydon, Sergeant, Liberty, Norwich, 
Shippen, and Hamilton. The amount of coal mined that year was one thou- 
sand bushels ; number of miners employed, two. Salt manufactured, one 
thousand bushels ; number of men employed, two. Number of retail stores, 
ten; amount of capital invested, $28,100. Total value of lumber, $88,700. 
Sale of furs and pelts, $963. Number of tanneries, two; number of men 
employed, four. Number of grist-mills, nine. Number of saw-mills, thirty- 
three. Maple sugar manufactured, sixty-nine thousand seven hundred and 
fifty pounds. 

MERCER COUNTY 

In 1840 Mercer County had thirty-two thousand eight hundred and sev- 
enty-three people, and the county contained nineteen towns, townships, and 
boroughs, — to wit, Springfield, West Salem, Pymatuning, Delaware, Wolf 
Creek, Hickory, Slippery Rock, Salem, West Greenville, Mahoning, Neshan- 
nock. New Castle Borough, Shenango, Lackawannock, Cool Spring, Sandv 
Lake, French Creek, Dandy Creek, and Mercer Borough. In that year Mercer 
County had four charcoal furnaces ; total output of iron, fifty-nine tons. Total 
output of coal mined, one hundred and forty-one thousand eight hundred and 
sixty tons; number of men employed, twenty-one. Maple sugar manufac- 
tured, one hundred and twenty-one thousand two hundred and fourteen pounds. 
Retail stores, ninety- three ; capital invested, $214,893. Value of hats and 
caps manufactured, $6770. Number of tanneries, thirty-five ; number of men 
employed, one hundred and thirty-one. Number of distilleries, twelve. Num- 
ber of printing-offices, one. Number of grist-mills, seventy-three. Number 
of saw-mills, one hundred and twenty-eight. Number of oil-mills, two. 

362 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

l^OTTEU COUNTY 

In 1840 Potter Count}- had three thousand three hundred and seventy-one 
people, and the count}- contained fifteen towns, townships, and boroughs, — 
to wit, Eulalia, Harrison, Bingham, Ulysses, Alleghany, Genesee, Sharon, 
Hebron, Oswego, Clara, Sweden, Wharton, Roulette, Hector, and Pike. In 
that year the output of coal was one hundred bushels. Maple sugar manu- 
factured, one hundred and three thousand one hundred and ninety-nine 
pounds. Retail stores, six; capital invested, $11,700. Value of lumber 
products, $25,038. Number of tanneries, one ; number of men employed, two. 
Number of printing-offices, one. Number of grist-mills, eight. Number of 
saw-mills, thirty. Value of furs and pelts, $855. 

TIOGA COUNTY 

In 1840 Tioga County had fifteen thousand four hundred and ninety- 
eight people, and contained twenty-one towns, townships, and boroughs, — to 
wit, Jackson, Liberty, Union, Middlebury, Morris, Delmar, Tioga, Lawrence, 
Elkland, Farmington, Chatham, Westfield, Rutland, Sullivan, Richmond, 
Covington, Charleston, Shippen, Deerfield, Brookfield, and Gaines. In that 
year the output of coal was thirty-six thousand bushels ; number of men 
employed, one hundred and four. Maple sugar manufactured, one hundred 
and eighty-one thousand and sixty-four pounds. Retail stores, fifty two ; 
capital invested, $111,800. Value of lumber produced, $37,189. Number of 
tanneries, thirteen ; number of men employed, thirty-three. Number of dis- 
tilleries, two. Number of printing-offices, two. Number of grist-mills, twenty- 
six. Number of saw-mills, one hundred and forty-five. Number of oil- 
mills, one. Value of pelts and furs, $1415. 

VENANGO COUNTY 

In 1840 Venango County had seventeen thousand nine hundred people, 
and contained twenty towns, townships, and boroughs, — to wit, Scrubgrass, 
Irwin, Sandy Creek, Paint, Farmington, Tionesta, Corn Planter, French 
Creek, Cherry Tree, Richland, Beaver, Sugar Creek, Plum, Pine Grove. 
Alleghany, Canal, Rockland, Cranberry, Elk, and Franklin Borough. In that 
year Venango County had sixteen charcoal furnaces. One bloomary, with an 
output of cast-iron of six thousand five hundred and forty-six tons, and of 
bar iron of two hundred and eight tons. Coal mined, thirty thousand three 
hundred tons; number of men employed, fourteen. Maple sugar manufac- 
tured, seventeen thousand five hundred and sixty-one pounds. Retail stores, 
forty-three; capital invested, $120,000. Lumber products, $24,204. Value of 
hats and caps manufactured, $1200; number of people employed, five. Num- 
ber of tanneries, seventeen; number of men ernployed, twenty. Number of 
distilleries, four; number of men employed, four. Number of printing- 

363 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

offices, one. Number of grist-mills, forty-nine. Number of saw-mills, fift)- 
nine. Number of oil-mills, two. Value of furs and pelts, $746. 

WARREN COUNTY 

In 1840 Warren County had nine thousand two hundred and seventy-eight 
people, and contained fifteen towns, townships, and boroughs, — to wit, Warren 
Borough, Connewango, Broken Straw, Columbus, Sugar Grove, Pine Grove, 
Freehold, Elk, Spring Creek, Deerfield, Kinzua, Pleasant, Southwest, Shef- 
field, and Limestone. In that year Warren County had three charcoal fur- 
naces, with an output of thirty tons. Coal mined, seven hundred and fifty 
bushels; miners employed, one, in Elk Township. Maple sugar manufac- 
tured, ninety-one thousand three hundred and eighteen pounds. Retail stores, 
twenty-eight; capital invested, $65,750. Value of lumber produced, $88,062. 
Furs and pelts, $513. Hats, caps, and bonnets manufactured, $2200. Number 
of tanneries, six; number of men employed, ten. Number of printing-offices, 
two. Number of grist-mills, sixteen. Number of saw-mills, one hundred 
and twenty-three. Number of barrels of flour manufactured, five hundred. 

NEGRO SLAVERY IN NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA. CENSUS RETURNS 
County. 1810. 1820. 1830. 

Butler 

Crawford 2 

Jefiferson 

McKean i 

Mercer 3 

Potter 

Tioga 

Venango ■. 

Warren 

In 1809 James G. Heron, who lived in Franklin, had two slaves, both 
negro girls. 

In 1807 Collender Irvine had one slave, Black Tom, in Warren County. 

In 1802 William Hillis Wells settled near Wellsboro, Tioga County, and 
brought with him four slaves. 

William Ayers had one slave in Potter County from 1808 to 1814. 

In 1808 there were six hundred and five negro slaves in Pennsylvania. 
The pioneer court records of Crawford County contained such items as the 
following: "William Davis, farmer, of Mead Township, Crawford County, 
returns to the Clerk of the Peace of Crawford County, one female mulatto 
child, Dinah, born on the 25th of April last, of his negro woman Vine Octo- 
ber 28, 1802." 

The Crawford Messenger, of December 24, 183 1, has an advertisement for 
the sale of a colored boy, who is twelve years old. 

The negro slave in Jefiferson County in 1830 was named Sam, and was a 

364 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

miller. He belonged to James Parks, whose mill was near where Christ's 
brewery now is. In 1824 Sam was assessed at fifty dollars. In 1829 he was 
assessed at one hundred dollars. 

In 1833 one negro slave was assessed in Brookville to William Jack, — 
to wit, one boy of color, worth forty dollars. 

In 1836 Rev. Jesse Smith, a Presbyterian minister, living one mile north 
from where Corsica, Jefiferson County, now is, was assessed with one mulatto, 
valuation fifty dollars. 

The pioneer slave in Mercer County was in Sandy Lake Township in 
1801. The pioneer will recorded in Mercer County was that of John Calvin, 
in 1804, of Salem Township. In this will he bequeathed a mulatto to his wife. 
John Sheakley migrated from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to Sandy Creek 
Township, Mercer County, in 1804, bringing with him four negro slaves, — 
viz., Sam, Steve, Phoebe, and Hannah. Phcebe had two children born in slavery 
in Mercer County, — to wit, Ben and Rose. John Sheakley died in 1816, and 
in his will he bequeathed a mulatto girl to his wife ; all of his other slaves 
were then free. John Young lived on Indian Run, in Springfield Township. 
He owned slaves ; how many is not known. In his will of April 20, 1825, he 
says, " I do will that Peg, the old wench, is to be supported out of my farm, 
left to John and David." Peg had two children born in slavery in Mercer 
County, — to wit, Robert Johnson and Sallie Johnson. Robert worked at shoe- 
making after his freedom. 

PIONEER ADVERTISEMENT IN PENNSYLVANIA IN SLAVERY DAYS 
" 2 S. (shillings) REWARD 

" Ran away on the 2d inst. negro man John, about 22 ; also negro girl 
named Flora, about 18, slender made, speaks bad English and a little French. 
Has a scar on her upper lip and letters branded on her breast. Whoever 
secures the runaways in any place where their master can get them shall 
have the above reward and reasonable charges paid by 

" John Patton. 
" Centre Furnace, Mifflin County, July 26, I799-" 

Thank God this cruel slavery, which existed once in Pennsylvania, is 
forever wiped out in these United States! There is now no master's call, 
no driver's lash, no auction-block on which to sell, and no bloodhounds to 
hunt men and women fugitives not from justice, but fugitives for justice. 
Thank God for John Brown, and may " his soul go marching on !" 

John Brown was born in Torrington, Connecticut, May 9, 1800. He 
was found in this wilderness June 21, 1820, and settled in Richmond Town- 
ship, Crawford County, in 1826, and engaged in tanning, farming, and sheep- 
raising avocations. 

In 1832 he married Mary A. Day, of Meadville. He was a strict Pres- 
ses 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

byteriaii until the day of his execution. The year 1800 began with nine 
hundred thousand slaves in the United States. The year 1900 closed with- 
out one. 

REVOLUTIONARY SOLDIERS 

Patriots of the Revolutionary War settled in every county in North- 
western Pennsylvania. In the counties where the " donation lands" were 
located, they settled in quite large numbers. I deem it my duty to the de- 
scendants of these patriots to give the pay received by their ancestors for 
services in the Continental army. 

The first pay schedule was set forth in the Act of April 12, 1785, which 
fixed the pay of an infantry private at four dollars a month. By the Act of 
April 30, 1790, the pay was reduced to three dollars a month. The Act of 
January i, 1795, again made it four dollars, at which it remained for three 
years, but by the Act of July 17, 1798, when we were preparing for a war with 
France, it was raised to five dollars. It remained at this for fourteen years. 

By the Act of December 12, 1812, when an army had to be raised for the 
second war with England, the pay was raised to eight dollars. It remained 
at this during the war, but as soon as peace came the Act of March 3, 181 5, 
reduced it to five dollars again. It remained at this for eighteen years, when 
the Act of March 2, 1833, raised it to six dollars. The Act of July 7, 1838, 
raised it to seven dollars, where it remained for sixteen years, and all through 
the Mexican War. 

In 1785 the pay of a lieutenant-colonel commanding — ranking with a 
colonel now^ — was only sixty dollars a month. 

In 1785 a lieutenant-colonel received fifty dollars a month. 

In 1785 a major received forty-five dollars a month. 

In 1785 a captain was paid thirty-five dollars a month. 

In 1785 a first lieutenant received twenty-six dollars a month. 

In 1785 a second lieutenant received twenty dollars a month. 

INCIDENTS AND ANECDOTES 

On October 23, 1819, was the " dark day." Between nine and ten o'clock 
in the morning the darkness was so great that the pioneer had to light his 
old lamp or blaze his pitch-pine knot. 

In January, 1828, there was a great flood; and also a great one on 
February 10, 1832. 

In 1816, or the year without a summer, frost occurred in every month. 
Ice fonned half an inch thick in May. Snow fell to the depth of three inches 
in June. Ice was formed to the thickness of a common window-glass on July 
5. Indian corn was so frozen that the greater part was cut in August and 
dried for fodder; and the pioneers supplied from the corn of 181 5 for the 
seeding of the spring of 1817. 

In 1809 Fulton patented the steamboat. 

366 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

The pioneer steam-vessels that made regular trips across the Atlantic 
Ocean were the " Sirius" and " Great Western" in the year 1830. 

The pioneer use of gas for practical illumination was in 1802. 

The pioneer mill to make finished cloth from raw cotton was erected 
in Waltham, Massachusetts, in 181 3. 

In 1807 wooden clocks were made by machinery. 

The anthracite coal business was established about 1820. 

In 1836 matches were patented. 

" The first practical friction matches were made in 1827 by an English 
apothecary named Walker, who coated splints of card-board with sulphur 
and tipped them with a mixture of sulphate of antimony, chlorate of potash, 
and gum. A box of eighty-four matches sold for one cent, a piece of glass- 
paper being furnished with it for obtaining ignition. In 1830 a London man 
named Jones devised a species of match which was a little roll of paper 
soaked in chlorate of potash and sugar, with a thin glass globule filled with 
sulphuric acid attached to one end. The globule being broken, the acid 
acted upon the potash and sugar, producing fire. Phosphorus matches were 
first introduced on a commercial scale in 1833, and after that improvements 
were rapid. 

" The modern lucifer match combines in one instrument arrangements 
for creating a spark, catching it on tinder, and starting a blaze, — steps 
requiring separate operations in primitive contrivances. It was in 1836 
that the first United States patent for friction matches was issued. Splints 
for them were made by sawing or splitting blocks of wood into slivers 
slightly attached at the base. These were known as ' slab' or ' block' matches, 
and they are in use in parts of this country to-day." 

The pioneer strike in America was that of the journeymen boot-makers 
of Philadelphia in 1796. The men struck, or " turned out," as they phrased 
it, for an increase of wages. After two weeks' suspension of trade their 
demands were granted, and this success gained them greater strength and 
popularity, so that when they " turned out" in 1798, and again in 1799, for 
further increases, they were still successful and escaped indictment. 

Vulcanized rubber was patented in 1838. 

In 1840 Daguerre first made his pictures. 

The express business was started about 1840. 

The pioneer telegram was sent in 1845. 

The pioneer steamer to cross the Atlantic was built in New York in 
1818 by Francis Picket. The vessel was called the " Savannah." In the 
trip she carried seventy-five tons of coal and twenty-five cords of wood. 
She left Savannah, Georgia, in May, 1819, and arrived at Liverpool in June, 
1819. She used steam eighteen of the twenty-six days. 

Before " stocks" were invented oxen had to be thrown and tied and the 
shoes nailed on while down. 

367 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

In 1811 a furious tornado swept across this wilderness. 

On March 9, 1828, an earthquake shock was felt in Northwestern Penn- 
sylvania. 

The earliest recorded tornado in the United States was in 1794. It 
passed north of Brookville, in what is now Heath and other townships, and 
extended to Northford, Connecticut. 

In June, about the year 1818, a terrible hail-storm swept through this 
region and extended its ravages several miles, killing and destroying the 
largest pine-trees, leaving them standing as dead. The width of this storm 
was about half a mile. 

On June 6, 1806, there was a total eclipse of the sun. Fowls went to 
roost and bees hastened to their hives. The pioneers and Indians were greatly 
alarmed. 

Between the hours of three and seven o'clock in the morning of Decem- 
ber 16, 181 1, two distinct shocks of earthquake startled the pioneers of 
Northwestern Pennsylvania. The violence was such as to shake their log 
cabins. 

PIONEER THANKSGIVING DAYS 

The first recorded Thanksgiving was the Hebrew feast of the Taber- 
nacles. 

The New England Thanksgiving dates from 1633, when the Massa- 
chusetts Bay colony set apart a day for thanksgiving. 

The first national Thanksgiving proclamations were by Congress during 
the Revolutionary War. 

The first great American Thanksgiving day was in 1784, for the declara- 
tion of peace. There was one more national Thanksgiving in 1789, and no 
other till 1862, when President Lincoln issued a national proclamation for a 
day of thanksgiving. 

The pioneer Thanksgiving day in Northwestern Pennsylvania, was on 
the last Thursday of November, 1819, by proclamation of Governor Findlay. 

In 1803 the name Keystone was first applied to the State. This was in 
a printed political address to the people. Pennsylvania was the central State 
of the original thirteen. 

The winter of 1842-43 was severe and bitter cold, with snow three feet 
deep all winter. In the fall thousands and thousands of black squirrels 
migrated through this wilderness. 

RECORD OF BIG FLOODS 

In 1806, the year of the big flood, Redbank had a rise of twenty-one 
feet. On September 27, 1861, twenty-two feet. 

We had big floods on November 10, 1810; January, 1828; February 10, 
1832; February i, 1840. 

368 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

September, 1844, a foot of snow fell, followed by a warm rain, which 
caused a great flood. 

In 1816 Ludwig Long and his son William shot five wolves without 
changing position with single-barrelled, muzzle-loading guns. 

In 1823 David Postlethwait, then living in Perry Township, found a 
rattlesnake den about a mile from his cabin, in what is now Porter Town- 
ship, and killed forty or fifty of the reptiles. In 1824 he, Nathaniel Pos- 
tlethwait, and James Stewart killed, in two hours, three hundred snakes at 
this den. John Goheen now owns (1901) this snake farm. It is in Jefferson 
County. 

In 1850 " Jack Long" crept through the rocks sixty feet into a panther's 
den and shot a full grown panther by the light of the creature's eyes. 

In 1840 the tolls received for that year on the pike were $4,109.10; 
costs of repairs and improvements, $3,338.17; amount paid gate-keepers, 
$784-33- 

SHOOTING STARS IN 1833— A SHOWER OF FIRE NATURAL PHENOMENON 

" The heavens declare Thy glory, O Lord." 

On Wednesday, November 13, 1833, about five o'clock a.m., the heavens 
presented a spectacle in this wilderness as has seldom been seen in the world. 
It struck terror to the hearts of those who saw it, and many ran away from 
home to their neighbors, declaring that the " day of judgment had arrived." 
The duration of the display was about an hour. 

The theory of meteorites is that they are parts of comets. The greatest 
fall of meteorites in the history of the world was in 1833. 

This shower was the result of the disappearance of a comet of which 
the meteorites were parts, and they are still falling. Though that was seventy 
years ago, stars still continue to shoot down the path, and astronomers say 
that they are the remaining pieces of the same vanished comet. 

A RAILROAD COLLISION OF 1 837 
" FATAL RAILROAD ACCIDENT 

" Steamboat ' Columbus,' August 12, 1837. 
" The most serious accident has occurred in Eastern Virginia since 
my recollection happened on the Portsmouth and Roanoke Railroad, one 
and a half miles from Sufifolk, yesterday, between nine and ten o'clock. 
A company, consisting of about one hundred and fifty ladies and gentlemen, 
from the counties of the Isle of Wight, Nansemond, and Southampton, 
came down on the railroad on Thursday, the loth inst., with the view of 
visiting Portsmouth, Norfolk, Fortress Monroe, and returning the next 
day. On their return, at the time and place above mentioned, they met a 
locomotive and train of burden-cars, and, horrible to relate, the two ran 
24 369 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

together while going at the rate of ten or twelve miles an hour." — Brookville 
Republican, August 31, 1837. 

Archie Campbell married Mary Ann Kyle. Archie and his wife lived 
in the vicinity of what is now Reynoldsville, and one winter day they con- 
cluded to visit the Kyles. They hitched up their horse in a little jumper, 
and reached their destination, some four miles over the Ceres road, and 
remained over night with their relations. During the night there was a 
heavy snow-fall. On starting home in the morning the Kyles presented 
Mary Ann with a small crock of apple-butter. The crock was stored between 
Mrs. Campbell's feet when she took her seat in the jumper. The road-track 
was covered with fresh snow, and Archie could not, of course, discern it. 
After driving some distance he struck a trot, the jumper went over a stump, 
and threw Archie and Mary Ann violently into the snow. Archie scrambled 
up and cried, " Mary Ann, my dear, are you hurted ?" " My thigh is broken, 
my thigh is broken, Archie !" Archie rushed to her aid, and running his hand 
Up her limb to ascertain her injury, he exclaimed, " It's wurse than that, it's 
wurse than that, Mary Ann ; your bowels are busted, your bowels are busted !" 
And it was only apple-butter. 

Joseph Matson, Esq., lived in Eldred Township, Jefferson County, and 
in the early days he built an outside high brick chimney. He employed a 
pioneer stonemason by the name of Jacob Penrose to do the job. Penrose 
was a very rough mason, but had a high opinion of his own skill, and was 
quite confiding and bombastic in his way. After he finished the chimney, 
and before removing the scaffold, he came down to the ground to blow off a 
little steam about his work. Placing his arm around Matson's neck, he ex- 
claimed, pointing to the chimney, " There, Matson, is a chimney that will 
last you your lifetime, and your children and your children's children." 
" Look out !" said Matson. " God, she's a coming !" True enough, the 
chimney fell, a complete wreck. 

Archie Campbell and James Kyle were brothers-in-law and lived in Jef- 
ferson County. They were odd, eccentric, and stingy, but each prided him- 
self on being very generous. A true story of them is told in the following 
verses : 

" ARCHIE CAMPBELL AND JIMMIE KYLE 
"Archibald Campbell and his friend Jimmy Kyle 
Were sturdy old gents from the Emerald Isle. 
Jimmy lived on a farm just below Prospect Hill 
And Archie kept tavern in old Reynoldsville. 
Now this was long since, perhaps during the war, 
And possibly even a few years before. 
Both were thrifty and close, and knew to the cent 
Precisely the quantity of money they spent. 
It happened one day, in the course of affairs. 
That the old Prospect graveyard needed repairs. 

370 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

It had grown up with briars, bushes and trees, 

The fence was quite rotten and weak in the knees, 

And tombstones that ought to be standing erect 
Were prone from a true upright course to deflect. 

Now this was a shame, the good citizens said, 

For they ought to show more respect for the dead. 
And so they agreed, to accomplish their ends. 
To raise a subscription amongst their good friends. 

Tom Dolan, Ed. Seeley, Ben Haugh, and Pete Brown 
George Sprague and Wash Fuller all put their names down. 
But still they were short, and to increase the pile 
They handed the paper to old Jimmy Kyle. 
For a ten dollar bill he put down his name, 
And said he'd make Campbell contribute the same. 
And forth with his paper friend Kyle did essay. 
Talking loud to himself as he wended his way: 
' Sure Archie is ruch ; he sells whusky and ale. 
An' a paltry tin dollars he never would fale,' 
And thus with himself he debated the case 
Till firmly convinced. When he reached Archie's place 
He knocked at the door of the old Sandy Lick, 
When Archie jumped up and opened it quick. 
' Gud mornin',' said Jimmy, all wreathed in a smile, 
'An how's Muster Cummel?' 'Quite wull. Muster Kyle, 
Except for me legs, fer yez know how it is, 
I'm bothered a gud but wuth ould rheumatiz. 
In a general way me health's gud enough. 
An' I'd be all right if I wasn't so stuff.' 
'An how's Mary Ann?' 'She is gud — very gud; 
She's out in the back yard splitting some wud.' 
' Muster Cummel,' said Jimmy, ' I'll sthate what I want : 
We're fixin' the cimetry over beyant — 
I've a subscruption papur I want yez to sign : 
Jist put down yer name for a tin below mine.' 
' Egad !' exclaimed Archie, ' not a cint will I guv ! 
I won't be buried there as long as I luv!' 
' We duffer on that pint,' said Kyle, ' be me s'ul ! 
If I luv and kape me health, Archie, I wull ! ' " 

— W. O. Smith, in Punxsutawney Spirit. 

As Americans we are proud of this blood. In our struggle for inde- 
pendence they were loyal. A Tory was unheard of among them. Pennsyl- 
vania and the nation owe very much of their greatness to this race. Natural- 
born leaders and orators, they have given us statesmen, teachers, professors, 
ministers, physicians, judges, Congressmen, and generals, even to our Sher- 
idan and Grant. They have furnished the nation with seven Presidents and 
our State with seven governors. Brave, intelligent, warm hearted, and true, 
their influence must and always will be potent. 

Rev. Alexander McCahon, a " Seceder" minister who preached in and 
near Brookville about 1850, and before that time, was a Scotch-Irishman, tal- 

371 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

ented and well educated, but like many of that time, including preachers, was 
fond of " the gude crayther of God." He was accustomed to get his jug filled 
regularly at Judge Evan's store, and before leaving he would nearly always 
request William C, who still lives in Brookville (1899), to ^^" jist open 
the molasses gate and let a little New Orleans drop on the cork." He must 
have been very fond of molasses. I remember him well. The town papers 
occasionally published one of his sermons. 

SAW-MILLS 

The earliest form of a saw-mill was a " saw-pit." In it lumber was 
sawed in this way : by two men at the saw, one man standing above the pit, 
the other man in the pit, the two men sawing the log on trestles above. Saws 
are prehistoric. The ancients used "bronzed saws." Saw-mills were first 




pioneer saw-mill 



run by " individual power," and water-power was first used in Germany 
about 1322. The primitive water saw-mill consisted of a wooden pitman 
attached to the shaft of the wheel. The log to be sawed was placed on rollers, 
sustained by a framework over the wheel, and was fed forward on the rollers 
by means of levers worked by hand. The pioneer saw-mill erected in the 
United States was near or on the dividing line of Maine and New Hampshire, 
in 1634. 

The early up-and-down saw-mills were built of frame timbers mortised 
and tenoned and pinned together with oak pins. In size these mills were 

372 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

from twenty to thirty feet wide and from fifty to sixty feet in length, and 
were roofed with clapboards, slabs, or boards. The running-gear was an 
undershot flutter-wheel, a gig-wheel to run the log-carriage back, and a bull- 
wheel with a rope or chain attached to haul the logs into the mill on and over 
the slide. The capacity of such a mill was about four thousand feet of boards 
in twenty-four hours. The total cost of one of these up-and-down saw-mills 
when completed was about three hundred dollars, one hundred dollars for 
iron used and two hundred dollars for the work and material. 

In 1827 the pioneer planing-mill in the world was invented and used. 
The band saw was invented in 1815. The circular saw was invented in 1805. 
In 181 5 a machine for turning hat blocks, shoe lasts, and wheel spokes was 
invented. In 1818 a machine to make wooden pegs for boots and shoes was 
invented. 

HORSE-RACING 

Horse-racing was practised as early as when Troy was besieged by the 
Greeks. In the plain before the city the besiegers celebrated holidays by 
sports and horse-races, and Homer says the walls of Troy were covered with 
sporting Trojans watching the result. 

The trotting horse is an institution of the present century. Before 1800 
running was the only method of racing. 

Horse-racing as practised in the pioneer days of our country was a great 
sport. People came here from all the northwest. 

THE ROSEVILLE PIONEER RACE-GROUND 

" Jefferson County Races. — On Tuesday, the 14th of November, instant, 
will be run over the race-course on the Lewistown and Erie Turnpike, near 
the public house of Mrs. Mills, four miles west of Brookville, a match race 
of 600 yards between the celebrated racers Robin and Zih. The public and all 
others friendly are hereby invited to attend. By order of 

" The Proprietors. 
" November 2, 1837." 

" Robin" was a Brookville horse, and won this race. He was a sorrel, 
and belonged to John Pierce and Major William Rodgers. These men pur- 
chased him from Ephraim Bushly for five hundred dollars, and they sold him 
to Benjamin Bennett, Sr., of Bellefonte, where he was taken and matched 
for a race. He had never been beaten in a race, but before this match took 
place in Centre County he was poisoned and ruined. 

"Zib" was a dark bay horse, and was owned by a Mr. Chambers, of 
Crawford County, Pennsylvania. The " stake" in the above race was three 
hundred dollars. Great crowds attended these races. People came from 
Indiana, Armstrong, Crawford, Erie, Clearfield, and Centre. The stake was 
usually three hundred dollars, and the excitement and side-betting was lively. 

37Z 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

Previous to 1793 there were no postal or post-office facilities in this 
wilderness. Letters and papers had to be sent with friends, neighbors, or by 
special carriers. The first newspaper started in the western part of the State 
was the Pittsburg Gazette. It was published by John Scull, and issued in 
1786. It was distributed to patrons by special carriers. 

In the forties, Peter Ricord, Sr., and his son Peter erected on their farm 
in what was then called " Jericho," and now Warsaw Post-Office, Jefiferson 
County, a frame grist-mill structure thirty by thirty feet. This mill had one 
run of stones, and the motive power was one yoke of oxen. I cannot de- 
scribe it. The capacity was about thirty bushels of com or grain a day. 
Ephraim Bushly was the millwright; Peter Ricord, Jr., the miller. The 
scheme not proving a financial success, the running gear was removed in a 
few years, and the building utilized as a barn by the Ricords, and afterwards 
by John A. Fox. 

The pioneer convention of national delegates to nominate a candidate for 
President was held at Baltimore, September 26, 1831. The anti-Masonic 
party then and there nominated William Wirt, of Maryland, for President, 
and Amos Ellmaker, of Pennsylvania, for Vice-President. 

Previous to 183 1 Presidential nominees were made by each party in this 
way, — viz., first, the Congressional caucus ; second, the legislative caucus ; 
third, the legislative mixed caucus ; fourth, the legislative convention. From 
1796 to 1824 the Congressional caucus was in power. The legislative caucus 
fell by its own weight. The legislative mixed caucus stood for a short time, 
and then died. 

" Natural gas, we are informed, was first discovered in the United States 
in natural springs in Western New York and Pennsylvania by the Indians, 
who used to perform their semi-religious ceremonies in the light of the burn- 
ing springs. The early history of it elsewhere dates back to the dawn of 
history itself. 

" The first historical record of natural gas in the United States was in 
1775, when General Washington visited the natural gas spring a few miles 
east of the present site of Charleston, when the sight of it so impressed him 
that he pre-empted an acre of ground surrounding it, dedicating it to the 
public forever. This feeling, however, at the first sight of this phenomenon 
was not an unusual one, as Humboldt is quoted as declaring it the " eighth 
wonder of the world." 

" The first economical use of gas in the United States was at Fredonia, 
Chautauqua County, New York, when, in 1821, a well was drilled twenty- 
seven feet deep and one and one-half inches in diameter, that produced suffi- 
cient gas to illuminate the little village, which was lighted by thirty burners, 
these being made by drilling a hole the size of a small knitting-needle in the 
pipe. This gas was conveyed from the well to the place where it was used in 
wooden pipes. 

374 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" The first application of natural gas for fuel was in Erie, Pennsylvania, 
about 1868, and the first natural gas plant which supplied lights and heat in 
a large and permanent quantity by methods and appliances similar to those 
used at the present time was constructed in Titusville, Pennsylvania, in 1872, 
and the first natural gas line was built in 1875 from Butler County, Penn- 
sylvania, to Pittsburg, which was seventeen miles long and six inches in 
diameter. Since that time its application has increased by leaps and bounds 
until reckless consumption and appalling waste depleted many of the original 
fields." — Potter Journal. 

Snow fell in 1799 to the depth of five feet. Many wild animals starved 
to death. There was a great fall of snow in 1817. 

Locusts swarmed through this wilderness in 1795, in 1812, in 1829, and 
in 1846. A big frost, — a regular freeze, — occurred in June, 1843. 




CHAPTER XXI 



MY FIRST RECOLLECTIONS OF BROOKVILLE 



"How dear to my heart are the scenes of my childhood, 
When fond recollection presents them to view. 

... the deep tangled wildwood, 
And every loved spot which my infancy knew." 

I WAS born in Brookville when wolves howled almost nightly on what 
is now known as our " Fair Ground ;" when the pine in its lofty pride leaned 




1 1' if* 




Pioneer court house and jail, 1S31 

" Where gross misconduct met the lash, 
And there see the rock-built prison's dreadful face." 

gloomily over every hill-side; when the shades of the forest were heavy 
the whole day through; when the woods around our shanty town was the 

376 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

home of many wild animals and birds, such as panthers, bears, wild-cats, 
foxes, deer, wolves, elks, rabbits, catamounts, coons, ground-hogs, porcupines, 
partridges, turkeys, and pheasants; when the clear sparkling waters of the 
North Fork, Sandy Lick, and Red Bank Creeks contained choice pike, many 
bass, sunfish, horned chubs, trout, and other fish ; when the wild " bee trees" 
were quite numerous and full of luscious sweets for the woodman's axe. As 
you will see, choice meals for hunters could easily be obtained from the 
abundance of this game. All flesh-eating animals were either hunters, fishers, 
or both. 

The conditions and circumstances of the county made every man a 
hunter, and each and every one had his gun, bullet-moulds, shot-pouch, and 
powder-horn for any and every emergency. It was frequently found neces- 
sary before going to church on Sunday to shoot a wild turkey or a deer to 
" keep them off the grass." The " mighty hunters," though, were " Mike," 
" Dan," John, and " Bill" Long. Dan was murdered on the Clarion River, 
near Raught's mill. John was the father of Hon. James E. Long. In winter 
these hunters wore a white garment, called a " hunting-shirt," buckskin 
breeches, and moccasin shoes. In their shirt belts each carried a flint-knocker, 
spunk, hunting-knives, and a tomahawk. Animals were ruthlessly killed for 
their skins. Deer were thus slaughtered, only the " saddles" or hind quarters 
being saved for food. If a history of these Longs could be truthfully written, 
— a full narration of their adventures, perils, coolness, and daring while on 
the trail of bears, wolves, and panthers, — it would, perhaps, make a book 
equally as interesting as the " Life of Daniel Boone and Simon Girty." 

In the way of a preface to these imperfect reminiscences of Brookville 
and our dear fathers I simply ask of you this : 

" Let not ambition mock their useful toil, 
Their homely joys and destiny obscure, 
Nor grandeur hear with a disdainful smile 
These short and simple annals of the poor." 

My first clear and distinct recollections of our town and the people in 
it are in the years 1840 to 1843. The ground where the Democrat is now 
printed was then covered with pines. Then Brookville was a town of forty 
or fifty " shanties" and eight or ten business places, including the " old brick 
court-house" and the " old stone jail." The number of people in the town 
was three hundred and twenty-two. These "shanties" were principally on 
Main Street, and extended from where the Baptist church now is in the east 
to where Judge Clark now lives in the west. There were a few scattered 
shanties on Jefferson Street. A great deep gully crossed Main Street about 
where the Brookville National Bank now stands. 

A common sight in those days was, " Cakes & Beer For Sale Here," — 
a bottle of foaming beer in a glass in the corner. The first of these signs 

377 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

which I remember was one on John Brownlee's house, on the northeast 
corner of Main and Mill Streets, and one on John Showalter's house (the 
late gunsmith), now the property of John S. Moore. The cakes were made 
of New Orleans molasses, and were delicious, more so than any you can 
make or buy now. They were sold for a cent apiece. The beer was home- 
made, and called " small beer," and sold for three cents a glass. It was made 
of hops, ginger, spruce, sassafras-roots, wheat bran, molasses, yeast, and 
water. About every family made their own beer. Mrs. Showalter and other 
old ladies living in the town now (1898), I venture to say, have made 
" barrels" of it. 

The taverns in the town then were four in number. First, the " Red 
Lion." This inn was kept by John Smith, the step-father of David Eason. 
The second was the "Jefferson House," then kept by Thomas Hastings, now 
occupied and kept by Phil. J. Allgeier. In this hotel the "light fantastic 
toe" was tripped to the airs of "Money Musk," "Virginia Reel," "French 
Four," and " Pine Creek Lady." The orchestra for these occasions was 
GeOrge Hayes, who canle from Westmoreland County, a colored fiddler of 
the town, who could play the violin behind his back as well as before his 
face," with his left or right hand, and asleep or awake. I could name quite 
a number of ladies in the town now whom I used to see enjoying themselves 
in this way. The third was the " Franklin House," built by John Gelvin, and 
then kept by John Pierce. The Central Hotel, owned by S. B. Arthurs, has 
been erectfed on the ground occupied by the Franklin. The fourth was on 
the corner of Main and Barnett Streets, erected by John Dougherty. It 
swung the sign, — 

" Peace and Poverty, by John Dougherty." 

In 1840 it was occupied and kept by John Gallagher. Each of these hotels 
had license, and sold whiskey at three cents a drink, mostly on credit. You 
could have your whiskey straight, or have brown sugar or " tansy bitters" 
in it. The bars had to be opened regularly on Sunday for " morning bitters." 
Single meals were given for twenty-five cents, a " check" or cold meal for 
a " 'leven-penny bit," and a bed for ten cents. You could stop over night, 
have supper, bed, morning bitters, and breakfast, all for fifty cents. There 
was but one table, one hour, one ringing of the bell. 

The Susquehanna and Waterford turnpike was completed in 1824. It 
was a good road, and was kept in fair repair. In 1840 it passed from 
under State control, and the magnitude of the travel over it was great. The 
stage line was started in 1824. Morrow started his team then, and cattle and 
other droving commenced in 1835. All this I am told; but I know the 
stage was a big factor in 1840. Morrow was on time, and droving was im- 
mense. I have seen passing through Brookville on their way east from four 
to six droves of cattle in a day. The droves were generally divided into three 

378 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

sections. At the head of the first would be a man leading a big ox, his extra 
clothing strapped on the ox's head, and the man would be crying out ever and 
anon, " K-o, b-o-s-s ;'' " Come, boss." I have seen two and three droves of 
sheep pass in a day, witli occasionally a drove of hogs sandwiched between 
them. Horse droves were numerous, too. I have seen a few droves of 
colts, and a few flocks of turkeys. I could not give an estimate of the num- 
ber of these droves I have seen passing our home in a day. The business 
of droving began in June of each year, and ended in November. There was 
no other way to take this merchandise east than to drive it. 

But you must not think everybody was going east. A big lot of people 
were going west, including their cousins and their aunts. This turnpike was 
the shortest line west. We lived where T. L. Templeton now lives, and 
every few days all through the summer months I would see, nearly opposite 
the Baptist church, in the middle of the street, two men and a dog, and one 
of the men usually carrying a gun. They were the advance-guard for an 
" emigrant train." In a few minutes from one to six wagons would come 
in sight and stop, — all stopping here for a short rest. " Where are you 
going?" was the usual inquiry. "Going West; going to Ohio." The 
wagons were heavy, wide-tracked, covered with hoops and a white canvas, 
and had a stiff tongue and iron pole-chains. The horses wore heavy harness 
with iron trace-chains. An occasional emigrant would locate in our county, 
but the great majority generally struggled on for the far West, — Ohio. 

The usual mode of travel for the people was on foot or on horseback; 
but the most interesting mode was the daily stage, which " brought" and 
" took" the mail and carried the passengers who were going east or west. 
This was the " limited mail," and the " day and night express" of these days, 
— a through train, only stopping thirty minutes for meals. Of course this 
" limited mail," this " day and night express," over this " short route," 
eclipsed and overshadowed every other line and mode of travel. It was 
" grand, startling, and stupendous." There were no through tickets sold, to be 

" Punched, punched with care. 
Punched in the presence of the passengaire." 

The fare was six cents a mile in advance, and to be paid in " bimetallism." 
When the officials made their usual tour of inspection over this " road," 
they had extended to them the genuine hospitality of everybody, including 
that of the landlords, and free whiskey. The President of the great Penn- 
sylvania line is a small potato to-day in contrast with the chief manager 
of our line in that day, for our line was then the vanguard of every improve- 
ment a passenger might desire or a traveller wish for. 

The coaches were made in Concord, New Hampshire, and were called 
" rockaway coaches." Each coach had heavy leather belt-springs, and was a 
handsome vehicle, painted red, with gold stripes and letters, and was drawn 

379 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

by four horses. The coach was made to carry nine passengers, but I have 
often seen it with a dozen inside, two on the seat with the driver, and some 
on top. Trunks were carried on the top and in the " boot." Every driver 
carried a horn, and always took a " horn." When nearing a " relay" or a 
post-office, the valleys and hills were made to echo and re-echo to the 
" er-r-a-h, er-r-a-h, tat, tat, t-a-h, tat t-a-h" of the driver's horn, which was 
to attract the attention of the landlord or postmaster by night or by day. 
In latter years the coaches were the most ordinary hacks, and the horses 
could be " seen through," whether sick or well, without thq aid of any X-rays. 

The roads in spring, summer, and fall were a succession of mud-holes, 
with an occasional corduroy. Don't mention bad roads now. The male pas- 
sengers usually walked up the hills. All this in the blackness of darkness 
without a match, lantern, or light. 

I take from an old paper the experience of one who rode in these stages : 

"Jolted, thumped, distracted, 

Rocked, and quite forlorn. 
Oh ! wise one, what duties 

Now are laid on corn? 
Mad, disgusted, angry. 

In a swearing rage, 
'Tis the very d — 1 

Riding in this stage." 

From 1832 to about 1840 the drivers were Henry Dull and Andrew 
Loux, father of Enoch Loux. 

The prominent stage-drivers in 1840 were John S. Barr, S. P. Barr, 
Gabriel Vastbinder, Bill Adams, Joe Stratton, and others. Each driver car- 
ried a whip made as follows: a hickory stock, and a buckskin lash ten or 
twelve feet long, with a silk cracker on the end. These whips were handled 
with marvellous dexterity by drivers, and were made to crack over the 
horses' heads like pistols. The great pride of a driver then was to turn a 
" coach-and-four" with the horses on a " complete run." Bill Adams was 
good at this. A laughable incident occurred in one of these turns on Main 
Street. The driver was showing off in his usual style, and in making the turn 
with the horses on a complete run the coach struck a stone, which upset it. 
The weight of all the passengers coming against the coach-door burst it open, 
and the passengers, one and all, were thrown out and literally dumped into the 
hotel bar-room. This was a perfection in stage driving not easily attained. 

In 1840 the Brookville merchant kept his own books, — or, as he would 
have said, his own accounts, — wrote all his letters with a quill, and when 
they were written let the ink dry or sprinkled it with sand. There were then 
no envelopes, no postage stamps, no letter-boxes in the streets, no collection 
of the mail. The letter written, the paper was carefully folded, sealed with 

380 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

wax or a wafer, addressed, and carried to the post-office, where postage was 
prepaid at rates which would now seem extortionate. 

In 1840 Brookville merchants purchased their goods in Philadelphia. 
These purchases were made in the spring and fall. It took about two and a 
half days' continuous travelling in the " limited mail" day and night stage- 
coach to reach Lewistown, Pennsylvania, and required about one day and a 
half travelling over the canal and railroad to reach Philadelphia from that 
point. From Brookville to Philadelphia it required some four or five days' 
constant travelling. Our merchants carried their money on these trips as well 
as they could, mostly secreted in some way about their persons. After pur- 
chasing their goods in Philadelphia, they were ordered to be shipped to 
Brookville as " heavy freight," over the great corporation freight line of 




Bennett's stage and Morrow s leain 



" Joe Morrow." Joe was a " bloated corporationist," a transportation mo- 
nopolist of that day. He was a whole " trust" in himself. He owned and 
managed the whole line, and had no opposition, on this end at least. His 
line consisted of two Conestoga wagons, the bed on each at least four feet 
high and sixteen feet long. Each wagon was painted blue, and each was 
covered with a white canvas, this covering supported by hoops. The wagon 
was always loaded and unloaded from the rear end. The tires on the wheels 
were six inches wide. Each wagon would carry over three tons of freight, 
and was drawn over good roads by six magnificent horses, and over bad roads 
by eight of such horses, and each horse weighed about fourteen hundred. 
The price of wagon carriage over this distance was five dollars and six dollars 

381 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

a hundredweight. This was the " fast" and heavy freight line from Phila- 
delphia to Brookville until the canal was built to Lewistown, Pennsylvania, 
when Morrow changed his head-quarters from Philadelphia to Lewistown, 
and continued to run his semi-annual " freight train" from Lewistown to 
Brookville. Morrow's advent into town was always a great event. He 
always stopped his "train" in front of the Red Lion Hotel, then kept by 
John Smith. The horses were never stabled, but stood day and night in the 
street, three on each side of the stiff tongue of the wagon, and were fed in a 
box he carried with him, called his " feed-trough." The harness was broad 
and heavy, and nearly covered the horses ; and they were " hitched up" to 
the wagon with iron " pole" and " trace-chains." The Brotherhood of Loco- 
motive Engineers, the Switchmen's Union, the " American Railway Union," 
and all the Sovereigns and Debses put together, had no terrors for Joe, for 
he had but one employee, a " brakeman," for his second wagon. Joe was the 
employed and the employer. Like a " transportation king," like a " robber 
baron," he sat astride a wagon saddle on the hind near horse, driving the 
others with a single line and a blacksnake whip, to the words, " Gee," " Jep," 
and " Haw." He drove with one line, and when he wanted his horse to haw 
he would pull on the line; if he wanted him to gee he would jerk on the 
line. Morrow always remained in Brookville four or five days, to buy our 
products and load his train for the home trip. He bought and loaded clover, 
timothy, and flaxseed, feathers, old rags, tar, beeswax, wheat, rye, chestnuts, 
furs, and dried elderberries. The western terminus of his line was Shippen- 
ville, Clarion County, Pennsylvania, and on his return from there he bought 
up these products. Conestoga wagons came into use about 1760. 

Morrow's last trip to Brookville with his train was about the year 1850. 
He was an Irishman, slim, wiry, industrious, ,and of business habits. He was 
killed by the kick of a horse, at Cross's tavern, Clearfield County, Pennsyl- 
vania, — kicked on the nth day of September, 1855, and died on the 12th. I 
remember that he usually wore a spotted fawn-skin vest, made from the 
skin with the hair on. The merchants in Brookville of that day who are 
still living (1895), and for whom Morrow hauled goods, as far as I can 
recollect, are Uriah Matson, Harry Matson, Judge Henderson, Samuel Truby, 
Wm. Rodgers, and W. W. Corbet, who now resides in or near the town. 
Captain John Hastings, of Punxsutawney, W. F. Clark, of Maquoketa, Iowa, 
and S. M. Moore, of Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

" The past — the present race must tell 
Of deeds done by their friends of old, 
Who at their posts of duty fell. 

And left their acts and deeds untold." 

The town was laid out in 1830. My father moved here in 1832. He 
taught the first term of school in the town, in the winter of 1832. He was 

382 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

lieutenant-colonel in the militia, a justice of the peace, and was county treas- 
urer when he died, in 1837, at the early age of twenty-seven years, leaving 
my mother in this wilderness, a widow with three small children to support 
and rear. In 1840 my mother taught a summer term of school in what was 
then and is now called the Butler school-house. This school-house is on the 
Ridgway road, in Pine Creek Township, three miles from town. I was 
small, and had to go and come to and from this school with mother. We 
came home every Saturday to remain over Sunday, and to attend Presby- 
terian church, service being then held in the old brick court-house. The 
Presbyterians then called their church " Bethel." In 1842 it was changed to 
Brookville. We had no choir in the church then, but had a " clerk," who 
would stand in front of the pulpit, read out two lines, and then sing them, 
then read two more and sing them, and so on until the hymn or psalm was 
sung, the congregation joining in as best they could. Of these clerks, the 
only ones I can now recollect were Thomas Lucas, Samuel McQuiston, and 
John S. Lucas. I have no recollection of David's psalms being used other 
than is found in Watts' version, in combination with the hymns. I recollect 
two of the favorite hymns at that time with this church. The first verse of 
one hymn was as follows : 

" When I can read my title clear 
To mansions in the skies, 
I'll bid farewell to every fear, 
And wipe my weeping eyes." 

The first verse of the second hymn was : 

" There is a land of pure delight, 
Where saints immortal reign ; 
Infinite day excludes the night, 
And pleasures banish pain." 

One by one, these early pioneer Christians have left for this " land of 
pure delight !" to occupy these " mansions in the skies." I hope and pray that 
each one is now — 

" In seas of heavenly rest." 

After returning home from the Butler school-house one Saturday, I 
remember I asked my mother for a " piece." She went to the cupboard, and 
when she got there the cupboard was not bare, for, lo ! and behold, a great 
big snake was therein, coiled and ready for fight. My mother, in horror, ran 
to the door and called Mr. Lewis Dunham, a lawyer, who lived in the house 
now occupied by R. M. Matson, Esq. Mr. Dunham came on a run, and tried 
to catch or kill the snake with our " tongs," but it made good its escape 
through a rat-hole in the corner of the cupboard. Reptiles, such as black-, 
rattle-, house-, and other snakes were very plenty then in and around Brook- 

38.3 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

ville and dangerous, too. These snakes fed and lived on birds, mice, etc., 
and were very fond of milk, which they drink after the manner of a horse. ^ 
In a former chapter I called Brookville a town of shanties. And so it 
was- but there was one exception, there was one solid building, a dwell- 
ing occupied by a man named Bliss, on Water Street, on or near the lot 
at present (1898) owned and occupied by Billy Barr. It was built of logs. 
The other shanties were solid enough, for they were built in a different man- 
ner from shanties now, being put together with " frame timbers," mortised 




My mother 

" Who ran to help me when I fell. 
And would some pretty storj' tell, 
Or kiss the place to make it well? 
My mother !" 

and tenoned, and fastened with oak pins, as iron and nails were scarce, people 
being poor and having little or no money. Every building had to have a 
" raising," and the neighbors had to be invited to help " raise." Cyrus Butler, 
a bluff, gruff Yankee, was the captain at all raisings. He would stand off 
by himself, crying out at the proper time, " All together, men, he-o-he ! 
he-o-he !" 

No dwelling in the town was then complete without having in the back- 
yard an " out-oven," an " ash-hopper," a " dye-kettle," and a rough box 

384 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

fastened to the second story of the necessary, in which to raise early cabbage- 
plants. At the rear of each kitchen was a hop-vine with its pole, and each 
family raised its own catnip, peppermint, sage, and tansy. 

" The hand of the reaper 

Takes the leaves that are hoary, 
But the voice of the weeper 
Wails manhood in glory." 

In 1840 there was a law requiring the enrolment of all able-bodied men 
between twenty-one and forty-five years of age in the militia. These were 
formed into companies and battalions, and organized into brigades, each 
brigade to meet once a year in " encampment," for a period of three days, two 
days for " muster and drill" and one day for " review." The encampments 
were held in May or June, and for some reason or other these soldiers were 
called the " cornstalk militia," because some of the soldiers carried cornstalks 
for guns. No uniforms were worn in most cases. The soldier wore his home- 
spun or store-clothes, and each one reported with his own pike, wooden 
gun, rifle, or musket, and, under the inspiring influence of his accoutrements, 
discipline, and drill, — 

" Each bosom felt the high alarms, 
And all their burning pulses beat to arms." 

For non-attendance by a soldier at these encampments a fine of fifty 
cents was imposed for every day's absence. This fine had to be paid in 
cash, and was quite a severe penalty in those days of no money, county orders, 
and store barter. 

The first encampment I remember was held on what is now called 
Granger (Jack) Heber's farm. Brigadier-General Mercer was the com- 
mander then. He rode a sorrel horse, with a silver mane and tail, and a 
curled moustache. His bridle was ornamented with fine leather straps, balls, 
and tassels, and the blue saddle-cloth was covered with stars and spangles, 
giving the horse the appearance of a " fiery dragon." The general would 
occasionally dismount, to make some inspection on foot, when the army was 
drawn up in line, and then a great race, and frequently a fight, would occur 
among the small boys for the possession of the horse. The reward for hold- 
ing him at this time was a " fippenny-bit." The camp grounds were alive 
with whiskey-sellers, ginger-bread and small-beer dealers. Whiskey was to 
be had from barrels or jugs, in large or small quantities. When the army 
was in line it was dealt out to the soldiers from a bucket with a dipper. Any- 
body could sell whiskey and anybody could drink it. It was worth from 
twelve to twenty cents a gallon. The more brawls and fist-fights, the livelier, 
better, and greater was considered the muster. The bad blood between neigh- 
25 38s 



HISTORY or NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

bors was always settled here. Each party always resolved to meet the other 
on review-day to fight it out, and after the fight to meet, drink together, and 
make up their difference. Pugilism was practised in that day, not on scien- 
tific principles, but by main strength. The terror of all public gatherings was 
a man called " Devil John Thompson." He lived in Indiana County, and 
came here always on reviews. Each military company had a fifer or drum- 
mer, seldom a complete band. I have seen the late Judge Taylor blowing his 
fife, the only musician of and for one of these companies. This occurred on 
Main Street, in front of our house; and when I look back on this soldier 
scene, it seems to me these soldiers, from their appearance, must have been 
composed of the rag-tag and bob-tail of creation. An odd and comic sight it 
really was. To be an officer or captain in one of these companies was con- 
sidered a great honor, and something which the recipient was in duty bound 
to thank God for in his morning and evening prayers. I cannot do this 
subject justice. Such was the Pennsylvania militia as I saw it, and all that 
remains for me to say is, " Great the State and great her sons." 

In 1840 we had two big men in the town, — Judge William Jack, who 
was sent to Congress, and who built and lived in the house on Pickering 
Street now owned and occupied by Joseph Darr, Esq., and General Levi G. 
Clover, who lived on Main Street, in a house that was burned down, which 
stood on the lot now owned by Mrs. Clarissa Clements, and is the place of 
business of Misses McLain and Fetzer. Clover was a big man physically, a 
big man in the militia, a big man in politics, and a big man in business. Like 
most big men in those days, he owned and ran a whiskey-still. This distillery 
was located on or near the property of Fred. Starr, in what is now Litchtown. 
I used to loaf occasionally in this distillery, and I have seen some of our old 
citizens take a pint tin cup and dip it full of whiskey from out of Clover's 
copper kettles, and then drink this whole pint of whiskey down apparently 
at one gulp. I might pause to say right here, that in drinking whiskey, 
racing, square pulling, swearing, and fighting the old settler was " right in 
it." The wrestling- and fighting-ground then for the men and boys was 
the ground now occupied by the Jenks machine-shop, and the highway to 
and from these grounds was down the alley between Ed. Snyder's blacksmith- 
shop and C. A. Carrier's store (1898). I have had business on that ground 
with some boys myself. 

In the woods in and around Brookville in 1840 there were many sweet- 
singing birds and beautiful wild-flowers. I remember the laurel. We used 
to adorn our mantels and parlor fireplaces with these every spring. I re- 
member the honeysuckle, the wild rose, the crab-apple tree, the thorn, and 
others. The aroma from many of these flowers was delightful. House- 
plants were unknown. The garden flowers of that day were the pink ("a 
flower most rare"), the lilac, the hollyhock, the sunflower, and the rose. 
Each garden had a little bed of " sweet-williams" and " johnny-jump ups." 

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HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

The garden rose was a beautiful, sweet flower then, and it is a beautiful, sweet 
flower to-day, and it ever will be sweet and beautiful. My mother used to 
sing to me this hymn of Isaac Watts as a lullaby: 

" How fair is the rose, what a beautiful flower ! 
In summer so fragrant and gay; 
But its leaves are beginning to fade in an hour ; 
And they wither and die in a day. 

" Yet the rose has one powerful virtue to boast 
Above all the flowers of the field : 
When its leaves are all dead and its fine colors lost, 
Still how sweet a perfume it will yield. 

" So frail are the youth and the beauty of men. 
Though they look gay and bloom like the rose. 
Yet all our fond care to preserve them is vain, 
Time kills them as fast as he goes. 

" Then I'll not be proud of my youth or my beauty. 
Since both will soon wither and fade. 
But gain a good name by performing my duty ; 
This will scent like the rose when I'm dead." 

The rose is said to have been the first cultivated flower. 
In 1840 there was no church building in the town. Our Presbyterian 
preacher in the town was the Rev. David Polk, a cousin' to President Polk. 
The token was then given out on Saturday to all those who were adjudged 
worthy to sit at the Lord's table. These tokens were taken up on the follow- 
ing Sunday while seated at the table. Friday was " fast" or preparation day. 
We were not allowed to eat anything, or very little, until the sun went down. 
I can only remember that I used to get hungry and long for night to come. 
Rev. Polk preached half of his time in Corsica, the other half in Brookville. 
His salary was four hundred dollars per year, — two hundred dollars from 
Brookville and two hundred dollars from Corsica. He lived on the pike in 
the hollow beyond and west of Roseville. He preached in the court-house 
until the Presbyterians completed the first church building in the town, in 
1843. It stood where the church now stands, and was then outside of the 
borough limits. The building was erected through the efforts of a lawyer 
then residing in Brookville, named C. A. Alexander. The ground for the 
church building was one acre ; cost, fifty dollars ; and the deed was obtained 
in 1848. The building was 40 by 60, and built by Phillip Schroeder for eleven 
hundred dollars. The ruling elders of the church then were Thomas Lucas, 
John Matson, Sr., Elijah Clark, John Lattimer, Joseph McCullough, and 
John Wilson. 

387 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

Other preachers came to town occasionally in 1840, and held their 
services in the court-house. One jolly, aged Welshman was called Father 
Thomas. He was a Baptist, a dear old man, and a great singer. I always 
went to his church to hear him sing. I can sing some of his songs yet. 
I will repeat a stanza from one of his favorites : 

" Oh, then I shall be ever free, 
Happy in eternity. 
Eternity, eternity, 
Happy in eternity." 

Dear old soul, he is in eternity, and I have no doubt is happy singing 
his favorite songs there. 

A Methodist preacher named Elijah Coleman came here occasionally. 
Methodist hea-d-quarters were at David Henry's and at Cyrus Butler's. The 
first Methodist prayer-meeting held in town was at Cyrus Butler's. It was 
held in the little yellow house occupied for years by Mrs. Rachel Dixon, 
and torn down by C. C. Benscoter, Esq., in 1887, in order to erect his present 
dwelling. In 1840 men and women were not permitted to sit on the same 
seat in church, or on the same side of the house. 

The physicians in the town in 1840 were Dr. George Darling, father 
of the late Paul Darling, and Dr. Gara Bishop, father of Mrs. Edmund 
English. Dr. Bishop was also a Presbyterian preacher. 

In 1840 Jefferson County contained a population of seven thousand 
two hundred and fifty-three people, and embraced nearly all of Forest and 
Elk Counties. Ridgway was then in the northeast corner of our county, and 
Punxsutawney was a village of about fifteen or twenty dwellings. 

The politics of the county was divided into Whig and Democrat. The 
leading Whigs in Brookville, as I recollect them, were Thomas Lucas, Esq., 
James Corbet, father of Colonel Corbet, Benjamin McCreight, father of 
Mrs. Dr. Hunt, Thomas M. Barr, and Samuel H. Lucas. The leading Demo- 
crats were Hon. William Jack, General L. G. .Clover, Judge Joseph Hen- 
derson, John Smith, Daniel Smith, Jesse G. Clark, father of Judge Clark, 
D. B. Jenks, John Dougherty, Richard Arthurs, and Thomas Hastings. Poli- 
tics ran so high that year that each party had its own Fourth of July cele- 
bration. The Whigs celebrated at Port Barnett. Nicholas McQuiston, the 
miller who died at Langville a few years ago, had one of his legs broken at 
this celebration by the explosion of a log which he had filled with powder. 
The Democrats celebrated in Brookville, in front of the Franklin Hotel, now 
the Central. I was big enough to have a full run and clear view of this' table 
and celebration. The table was covered with small roasted pigs, roasted 
turkeys, venison, pies, gingerbread, "pound-cake," etc. I was not allowed 
to participate in the feast, although my father in his lifetime had been a 
Democrat. Boys and girls were then taught modesty, patience, and man- 

388 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

ners by parents. Children were taught and compelled to respect age and to 
defer to the wishes of father and mother. Now the father and mother must 
defer to the wishes of children. There was more home and less public train- 
ing of children, and, as a result, children had more modesty and patience 
and less impudence. In 1840 children slept in " trundle-beds," and were 
required by their mothers to repeat every night before going to sleep this 
little prayer : 

" Now I lay me down to sleep, 

I pray the Lord ray soul to keep ; 

If I should die before I wake, 

I pray the Lord my soul to take." 

This home training was a constant building up of individual character, 
and I believe a much more effectual way for good than the present public 
way of building character collectively. 

In 1840 our Congressman was Judge Jack, of Brookville, and our member 
of the Legislature was Hon. James L. Gillis, of Ridgway Township. The 
county officers were: Prothonotary, General Levi G. Clover; Sheriff,. John 
Smith; Treasurer, Jesse G. Clark; Commissioners, Daniel Coder, .Irwin 
Robinson, and Benjamin McCreight. The county was Democratic by one 
hundred and twenty-five majority. 

The postmaster in Brookville was John Dougherty, and Joseph Hen- 
derson was deputy United States marshal for Jefferson County. He took the 
census of 1840 for our county. 

Of the above-named politicians and officials. Judge Henderson is the 
only one now living (1895). Every day yet the judge can be found at his 
place of business, pleasant, cheerful, and intelligent, — a fine old gentleman. 
In his many political contests I always admired, defended, and supported him. 
One thing I begin to notice, " he is not as young as he used to be." 

" Oh, tell me the tales I delighted to hear, 
Long, long ago, long, long ago ; 
Oh, sing me the old songs so full of cheer, 
Long, long ago, long, long ago." 

In 1840 we boys amused ourselves in the winter months by catching 
rabbits in box-traps, — the woods were full of them, — skating on Geer's pond, 
a small lake then located where Allgeier's brewery now stands (this lake 
was destroyed by the building of Mabon's mill-race), skating on Barr's (now 
Litch's) dam, and coasting down the town or graveyard hill. In the summer 
and fall months the amusements were alley-ball behind the court-house, town- 
ball, over-ball, sock-ball, fishing in the streams and in Geer's pond, riding 
floats of slabs on the creek, swimming in the " deep hole," and gathering 
blackberries, crab-apples, wild plums, and black and yellow haws. But the 
amusement of all amusements, the one that was enjoyed every day in the 

389 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

year by the boys, was the cutting of fire-wood. The wood for heating and 
cooking was generally hauled in " drags" to the front door of each house on 
Main Street, and there cut on the " pile" by the boys of each house. The 
gathering of hazel-nuts, butternuts, hickory-nuts, and chestnuts was an agree- 
able and profitable recreation. My boy associates of those days — where are 
they? " Some sleep on battle fields and some beneath the sea." I can only 
recall the following, who are now living in Brookville (1898) : David Eason, 
W. C. Evans, Dr. C. M. Matson, Thomas E. Espy, Thomas P. McCrea, 
Daniel Burns, Clover Smith, W. C. Smith, and W. R. Ramsey. I under- 
stand John Craig, Frederick and Lewis Dunham, Elijah and Lorenzo Lowell, 




Brookville kitchen, 1840 

and Alexander Barr live in the State of Iowa, Richard Espy in Kentucky, 
and John L. and Anson Warren in Wisconsin. 

In 1840 every housewife in Brookville cooked over a fireplace, in which 
a crane was fastened so as to swing in, out, off, on, and over the fire Every 
fireplace had a wooden poker, a pair of tongs to handle burning wood and 
a shovel to remove the ashes. The fuel used was wood,-pine, maple,' oak, 
birch, and hickory. To every fire there had to be a " back log " and the 
smaller or front pieces were supported on " andirons" or common stones. 
Matches were not in use, hence fires were covered at night so as to preserve 
some live coals for the morning fire. Rich people had a little pair of bellows 
to blow these live coals into a blaze, but poor people had to do the best they 

.3Q0 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

could with their mouths. After having nearly smoked my eyes out trying to 
blow coals into life, I have had to give it up and go to a neighbor to borrow 
a shovel of fire. Some old settlers used " spunk," a flint, and a barlow knife 
to start a fire in an emergency like this. Spunk — punk or touchwood — was 
obtained from the inside of a hollow white maple-tree. When matches were 
first brought around great fear was entertained that they might burn every- 
body out of house and home. My mother secured a tin box with a safe lid 
in which to keep hers. For some reason they were called locofoco matches. 

The crane in the fireplace had a set of rods with hooks on each end, 
and they were graduated in length so as to hang the kettle at the proper 
height from the fire. In addition to the kettles we had the long-handled 
frying-pan, the handle of which had to be supported by some one's hand, 
or else on a box or a chair. Then there was the three-legged, short-handled 
spider. It could support itself. And I must not forget the griddle for buck- 
wheat cakes. It had to be suspended by a rod on the crane. Then there was 
the old bake-kettle, or oven, with legs and a closely-fitted cover. In this, was 
baked the " pone'' for the family. I can say truthfully that pone was not used 
more than thirty days in the month. 

This was a hard way to cook. Women would nearly break their backs 
lifting these heavy kettles on and off, burn their faces, smoke their eyes, 
singe their hair, blister their hands, and " scorch" their clothes. 

Our spoons were pewter and iron ; knives and forks were iron with 
bone handles. The chinaware was about as it is now. 

The every-day bonnet of women then was the " sun-bonnet" for sum- 
mer, and a quilted " hood" for winter. The dress bonnet was made of paper 
or leghorn, and was in shape something like our coal-scuttles. 

In 1840 nearly every wife in Brookville milked a cow and churned butter. 
The cows were milked at the front door on Main Street. These cows were 
ornery, ill-looking, ill-fed, straw-stealing, and blue-milk giving creatures. 
The water with which to wash clothes and do the scrubbing was caught in 
barrels or tubs from the house-roof. Scrubbing the floors of a house had to 
be attended to regularly once a week. This scrubbing had to be done with 
powdered sand and a home-made " split broom." Every wife had to make 
her own soap, bake her own bread, sew and dye all the clothes for the family, 
spin the wool for and knit the mittens and socks, make the coverlets, quilt 
the quilts, see that the children's shoes for Sunday were greased with tallow 
every Saturday night, nurse the sick, give " sheep saffron" for the measles, 
and do all the cooking. All this too without "protection, tariff, rebate, or 
combine." About every family had a cow, dog, cat, pig, geese, and chickens. 
The town gave these domestic animals the right to "life, liberty, and the 
pursuit of happiness." Of course, under these sanitary conditions, the town 
was alive with fleas, and every house was full of bedbugs. Bats were 
numerous, and the "public opinion" then was that the bats brought the 

391 ( 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

bedbugs. This may be given as an illustration of the correctness of public 
opinion. However, we were contented and happy, and used to sing, — 

" Home, home, sweet, sweet home, 
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home." 

In 1840 there were doubtless many fine horses in Jefferson County yet 
it seemed to me nearly every horse had stringhalt, ring-bone, spavin, high- 
step, or poll-evil. Horses with poll-evil were numerous then, but the disease 
has apparently disappeared. It was an abscess on the horse's head, behind 
the ears, and was doubtless caused by cruelty to the animal. If a horse did 
not please his master in his work he would be knocked down with a hand- 
spike, a rail, or the loaded butt end of a blacksnake whip. Poor food and 
these blows undoubtedly caused this horrible disease. Sick horses were treated 
in a barbarous manner, not being allowed to lie down, but were whipped, run, 
and held upon their feet. I have seen horses held up with handspikes, rails, 
etc. -The usual remedies were bleeding and drenching with filthy compounds. 
" Bots" was the almost unfailing disease. 

The cattle were home stock, big-horned, heavy-bellied, and long-legged. 
They could jump over almost anything, and could outrun the " devil and 
his imps." They were poorly fed, received little care, and had little or no 
stabling. In the spring it was common for cows to be on the " lift." The 
common trouble with cattle was " hollow horn," " wolf in the tail," and loss 
of " cud." These were little else than the results of starvation. I have wit- 
nessed consultations over a sick cow, when one man would declare positively 
she had hollow horn, and another declare just as positively it was wolf in the 
tail. After a spirited dispute they would compromise by agreeing to bore 
her horn and split her tail. If they had called it hollow belly and wolf in 
the stomach they would have been nearer the truth. A better remedy would 
have been a bucket of warm slop, a good stable, and plenty of hay. The 
remedy for " hollow horn" was to bore a gimlet hole in the horn near the head 
and then saturate a cloth with spirits of turpentine and wrap it around the 
horn. The cure for wolf in the tail was to split the tail near the end with 
a knife, and fill the cut with salt and pepper. The cure for " lifts" was to 
call the neighbors, lift the cow to her feet, and prop her up so she could not 
lie down again. The cures for loss of " cud" were numerous and filthy. A 
" sure cure," and common, too, was to roll human excrement in dough and 
force it down the animal's throat. The same remedy was used for " founder." 
If the critter recovered, the remedy was the right one; if it died, the reason 
was the remedy had been used too late. Of course, these conditions were 
all imaginary. They were only diseases resulting from exposure and want 
of nourishing food. A wild onion called " ramp," and a shrub called " trip- 
wood," grew in the woods and were early in their appearance each spring 
These, of which the cattle ate freely, were often their only dependence for 

392 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

food. All domestic animals then had to have ear-marks on them, or be 
branded. Condensed milk was invented in 1849. 

The hog of that time was a racer, and could outrun the average horse. 
His snort when startled was something terrible. He was of the " razor- 
back" variety, long-bodied, long-legged, and long-snouted. By means of 
his snout he could plough through everything. Of course he was starved in 
the winter, like all the other animals, and his condition resulting from his 
starvation was considered a disease and called " black teeth." The remedy 
for this disease was to knock out the teeth with a hammer and a spike. 

Ignorance was tlie cause of this cruelty to animals. To the readers 
of this volume the things mentioned are astonishing. But I have only hinted 
at the barbarities then inflicted on these domestic animals, which had no 
rights which man was bound to respect. Not until 1866 was any effort made 
in this country to protect dumb animals from the cruelty of man. In that 
year Henry Berg organized the American society in New York, and to-day 
the movement is felt throughout a great portion of the world. In 1890 there 
were five hundred and forty-seven societies in existence for the prevention 
of cruelty to animals, two hundred and twenty-three of them in the United 
States. " The economic necessity for the existence of societies having for 
their object the better care and protection of animals becomes manifest 
when it is considered that our industries, our commerce, and the supply of 
our necessities and comforts depend upon the animal world. In the United 
States alone it is estimated that there are 14,000,000 horses, valued at $979,- 
000,000. There are also 2,330,000 mules, 16,000,000 milk cows, 36,800,000 
oxen and other cattle, 44,000,000 sheep, and 50,000,000 swine. The total 
domestic animals in 1890 were estimated at 165,000,000, valued at over 
$2,400,000,000." To-day every good citizen gives these humane societies or 
their agents his support, and almost every one is against the man or men 
who in any way abuse dumb beasts. It is not a matter of mere sentiment. 

Along about 1840 the winters were very severe and long, much more 
so than now. Regularly every fall, commencing in November, — 

" Soft as the eider down, 
Light as the spider gown, 
Came the beautiful snow, till 
Over the meadow lots, 
Over our garden plots, 
Over the ponds and the lakes, 
Lay only beautiful flakes. 
Then with this snowing, 
Puffing and blowing, 
Old Boreas came bellowing by, 
Till over the by-ways. 
And over the highways. 
The snow-drifts were ever so high." 
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HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

The snow was several feet deep every winter. It came early and re- 
mained till late. 

I have made frequent reference in these chapters to the Old court-house. 
As I find there is some confusion in regard to its size, and as I find our 
county history contains this error: "The court-house, a one-story brick 
building, was finished in 1832," I deem it of sufficient importance to correct 
these errors, and to state that the court-house was a two-story buildmg, 
with a one-story wing on the west extending along Main Street. This wmg 
was divided into two rooms, the first for the prothonotary's dffice and the 
other for the commissioners' office. The main building was two-storied, 
with an attic and belfry. The second story was divided into four good- 
sized rooms, called jury-rooms. The southwest room was used by the Metho- 
dists for a long time for their Thursday evening prayer-meeting. Alexander 
Fullerton was the janitor. The Union Sunday-school was held here for 
years also. The northwest room was used as an armory by the Brookville 
Rifles, — a volunteer company. The other two were used as jury-rooms. I 
have played in every room of the old building, and know every foot of it. The 
building cost three thousand dollars. The contractors were John Lucas and 
Robert P. Barr. It was torn down in 1866 to make room for the present 
fine structure. Our alley-ball games were all played for years behind the 
old court-house. 

Our first jail was a stone structure, built of common stone, in 1831. 
It was two stories high, was situated on the northeast corner of the public 
lot, near Joseph Darr's residence, and fronting on Pickering Street. Daniel 
Elgin was the contractor. The building was divided into eight rooms, two 
down-stairs and two up-stairs for the jail proper, and two down-stairs and 
two up-stairs for the sheriff's residence and office. The sheriff occupied the 
north part. The early church services in this building were held in the 
jail part, up-stairs. This old jail has a history, not the most pleasant to 
contemplate or write about. It was used to imprison run-away slaves, and 
to lodge them over night, by slave captors. Imprisoning men for no other 
crime than desiring to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness ! There 
was a branch of the underground railroad for the escape of slaves running 
through Brookville at that time. As many as twenty-five of those unfor- 
tunate creatures have passed through Brookville in one day. Judge Heath, 
then living in our town, — a great Methodist and an abolitionist, — ^had to, pay 
a fine of two thousand dollars for aiding two slaves to escape from this 
old stone jail ; a big sum of money to pay for performing a Christian, humane 
act, was it not? In this stone jail men were imprisoned for debt, and kept 
in it until the last penny was paid. I have seen some of the best men of that 
day in our county imprisoned in this old jail for debt or bail money. I have 
seen Thomas Hall, than whom I knew no better man, no better Christian, 
an elder in the Presbyterian church, incarcerated in the old stone jail for 

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HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

bail money. He had bailed a relative for the sum of fifty dollars, and his 
relative let him suffer. Honest, big-hearted, generous. Christian Thomas 
Hall! Thank God that the day for such inhumanities as those stated above 
is gone forever. This old jail was rented after the new one was erected, 
and used as a butcher-shop until it was torn down to make room for the 
present court-house. The butcher always blew a horn when he had fresh 
meat to sell. 

In these days of fine carriages and Brookville wagons it might be well 
to describe the wagon of 1840. It was called the Pennsylvania wagon, was 
wide-tracked, and had wooden axles with iron skeins on the spindles. The 
tongue was stiff, and reached about three feet ahead of the horses. The 
horses were hitched to these wagons by iron trace- and long tongue-chains. 
In rough roads I used to think every time the tongue would strike a horse on 
the leg it would break it. Old team horses undertsood this and would spread 
out to avoid these leg-blows. The wheels were kept in place by means of an 
iron strap and linch-pin. Every wagon carried its own tar on the coupling- 
pole imder the hind axle. The carriage of that day was called a dearborn 
wagon. I am unable to describe thes^, although I used to see them. The 
making of tar was one of the industries then. It retailed at twenty and 
twenty-five cents a gallon, and brought from three to four dollars a barrel at 
Pittsburg. These old wagons would screech fearfully if they were not kept 
properly lubricated with this tar. 

Big political conventions were held in those days, and a great custom 
was to have a young lady dressed in white to represent each of the different 
States, and have all these ladies in one wagon, which would be drawn by 
four or six horses, or sometimes by twenty yoke of oxen. 

In the hotels of that day the " bar" was constructed for the safety of 
the bartender. It was a solid structure with a counter in front, from which 
a sliding door on iron rods could be shoved up and locked, or shut down and 
locked ; hence the hotel man could " bar" himself in and the drunken men 
out. This was for safety in dispensing whiskey, and is the origin of the 
word "bar" in connection with hotels. In 1840 all our hotel bars were so 
made. 

Lumbering in 1840 was one of our principal industries. We had no 
eastern outlet, and everything had to be rafted to Pittsburg. The saw-mills 
were nearly all " up and down" mills. The " thunder-gust" mills were those 
on small streams. All were driven by flutter-wheels and water. It required 
usually but one man to run one of these mills. He could do all the work and 
saw from one to two thousand feet of boards in twelve hours. Pine boards 
sold in the Pittsburg market then at three and four dollars per thousand; 
clear pine at ten dollars per thousand. Of course, these sales were on credit. 
The boards were rafted in the creek in " seven-platform" pieces by means of 
grubs. The oars were hung on what were called thole-pins. The front of 

395 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

each raft had a bumper and splash-board as a protection in going over dams. 
The creeks then were full of short bends, rocks, and drift. Cables were un- 
known here, and a halyard made from hickory withes or water-beech was 
used as a cable to tie up with. " Grousers" were used to assist in tying up. 
A pilot then received four dollars to the mouth of the creek ; forehands, two 
dollars and expenses. The logging in the woods was all done with oxen. 
The camp and mill boarding consisted of bread, flitch, beans, potatoes, Orleans 
molasses, sometimes a little butter, and coffee or tea without cream. Woods- 
men were paid sixteen dollars a month and boarded, and generally paid in 
store-orders or trade. 

We usually had three floods on which to run this lumber, — spring, June, 
and fall. At these times rafts were plenty and people were scarce, and, as 
time and tide wait for no man, whenever a flood came everybody had to turn 
out and assist to run the rafts. The boy had to leave his school, the minister 
his pulpit, the doctor abandon his patients, the lawyer his briefs, the mer- 
chant his yard-stick, the farmer his crops or seeding. And there was one 
great compensation in this, — nearly everybody got to see Pittsburg. 

" Running down the creek and gigging back" was the business language 
of everybody. " How many trips have you made ?" etc. It took about twelve 
hours to run a raft from the neighborhood of Brookville to the mouth, or the 
Allegheny River, and ordinarily it required hard walking to reach home the 
next day. Some ambitious, industrious pilots would " run down in the day- 
time and walk back the same night." James T. Carroll has made four of 
these trips in succession, Joseph Shobert five, and William Green four or 
five. Of course, these pilots remained down the last night. This extraor- 
dinary labor was accomplished without ever going to bed. Although some 
may be incredulous, these are facts, as the parties interested are still alive 
(189s). Pilots sometimes ran all night. Joseph Shobert has started from 
Brookville at five o'clock p.m. and reached the mouth at five o'clock in the 
morning. Other pilots have done this also. There were no rubber goods 
then. 

Pine square timber was taken out and marketed in Pittsburg. No other 
timber was marketable, and then only the best part of the pine could be hewed 
and rafted. Often but one stick would be used from a tree. In Pittsburg 
this timber brought from four to eight cents a foot, running measure. 

The square timber business was then the business. Every lumbemian 
followed it, and every farmer ran one timber raft at least. The " taking out 
of square timber" had to be done in the fall, before snow came. The trees 
were felled, "cut in sticks," "scored in," and hewn smooth and square. 
Each " lumber tract" had its log cabin and barn. The " sticks" were hauled 
to the creek on a " bob" sled in the snow by oxen or horses, and banked until 
time to " raft in" and get ready for the " spring flood." It was the timber 
trade that made the pioneer prosperous and intelligent. 

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HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

The lumbermen could contract with hewers for the cutting, scoring, and 
hewing of pine timber, complete, ready to be hauled, for from three-quarters 
to one and a quarter cents per foot. All timber was generally well faced on 
one side, and was rafted with lash-poles of iron-wood or white oak, and 
securely fastened in position by means of white-oak bows and ash pins. Bows 
and pins were an article of merchandise then. Bows sold at seventy-five cents 
a hundred, and ash pins brouglit fifty cents a hundred. Grubs for board rafts 
sold at two dollars and fifty cents a hundred. Oar stems were then made 
from small sapling dead pines, shaved down. Pine timber or wild lands 
could then be bought at from one dollar to two dollars per acre. 

Along the lower end of our creeks and on the Allegheny River there 
lived a class of people who caught and appropriated all the loose logs, shingles, 




Raftins: on North Fork 



boards, and timber they could find floating down the streams. These men 
were called by the early lumbermen Algerines, or pirates. The name Algerine 
originated thus: In the war of 1812 "the dey of Algiers took the oppor- 
tunity of capturing an American vessel and condemning her crew to slavery. 
Then a squadron of nine vessels commanded by Commodore Decatur, in May, 
1815, appeared in the Mediterranean, captured the largest frigate in the 
Algerine navy, and with other naval successes so terrified the dey that on 
the 30th of June he made certain pecuniary indemnities, and renounced all 
future claim to any American tribute or payments, and surrendered all his 
prisoners." 

As there has been considerable agitation over my paragraph on poll- 
evil in horses, I reprint here a slip that has been sent me : 

.397 



HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

" AN OLD TIME CURE FOR POLL-EVIL 

" Ed. Spirit, — I am moved by your quotation from Dr. McKnight's 
article in the Brookville Democrat on the old-time nonsense in relation to 
poll-evil in horses to say that the doctor's explanation of the cause of that 
severe affliction on the poor brute's head is in part correct ; but it was mainly 
owing to the low door-ways and the low mow-timbers just above the horse's 
head as he stood in the stall of the old-time log stables. The horse often 
struck his head on the lintel of the low door-way as he passed in and out; 
and as he stood in the stall, when roughly treated by his master, in throwing 
up his head it came in violent contact with the timbers, and continued bruising 
resulted ultimately in the fearful, painful abscesses referred to. There were 
those in that day who had reputations for skill in the cure of poll-evil, and 
their method was this: The afflicted animal must be brought to the doctor 
before the break of day. An axe was newly ground. The doctor must not 
speak a word to any person on any subject after the horse was given into his 
hand until the feat was performed. Before sunrise the doctor took the axe 
and the horse and proceeded out of sight of any human habitation, going 
toward the east. When such a spot was reached he turned toward the 
animal, bent down its head firmly and gently, drew the sharpened blade of 
the axe first lengthwise, then crosswise of the abscess sufficiently to cause the 
blood to flow, muttering meanwhile some mystic words; then, just below 
where the head of the horse was, he stuck the bloody axe in the ground, left 
it there, turned immediately around, walked rapidly away, leading the animal, 
and not at all looking back until he had delivered it into the hand of the 
owner, who was waiting at a distance to receive it, and who took it home at 
once. The next morning at sunrise the axe was removed, and in due time the 
cure was effected. 

"An Old-Timer. 
" Smicksburg, Pa., September 7, 1894." 

The first known person to live within the confines of the present borough 
was Jim Hunt, an Indian of the Muncy tribe. He was here as early as 1797, 
and was in banishment for killing a warrior of his own tribe. By an Indian 
law he was not allowed to live in his tribe until the place of the warrior he 
had slain was filled by the capture of another male from white people or 
from other Indians. In 1808 Jim's friends stole a white boy in Westmore- 
land County, Pennsylvania, and had him accepted into the tribe in place of 
the warrior Jim had. killed. Jim Hunt's residence or cave was near the 
deep hole, or near the sand spring, on Sandy Lick, and was discovered in 
1843 by Mr. Thomas Graham. About 1812 Jim Hunt left and never re- 
turned. He was a great bear-hunter, having killed seventy-eight in one 
winter. He loved "fire-water," and all his earnings went for this beverage; 
yet he never dared to get so drunk he could not run to his cave when he 

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HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 

heard a peculiar Indian whoop on Mill Creek hills. His Indian enemies pur- 
sued him, and his Indian friends looked after him and warned him to flee 
to his hiding-place by a peculiar whoop. Little Snow, a Seneca chief, lived 
at the sand spring in 1800, and it was then called " Wolf Spring." 

The first white person to settle in what is now Brookville was Moses 
Knapp. He built a log house about 1801 at the mouth of North Fork Creek, 
on ground now owned by Thomas L. Templeton, near Christ's brewery. The 
first white child born within the limits of what is now Brookville was Joshua 
Knapp, on Mr. Templeton's lot, at the mouth of the North Fork, in the month 
of March, 1810. He is still living (1895) in Pine Creek Township, about 
two miles from the town. About 1806 or 1807, Knapp built a log grist-mill 
wh